The government is counting on the full delivery of the coronavirus vaccines it procured from China’s Sinovac Biotech earlier than expected.
According to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Sinovac has agreed to advance the delivery date of the remaining vaccine supplies bought by the Philippines by September.
Nograles, co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), welcomed the planned early delivery of the Sinovac jabs, saying this would help accelerate the vaccination of more Filipinos leading up the “ber” months to enhance protection against the coronavirus.
“We’re still on track in terms of our timelines for vaccination, in terms of population protection, in terms of herd immunity, maganda naman ang rollout,” Nograles said during an online media briefing Friday, July 17.
“In fact, mas ma-advance pa (In fact, it will be advanced). It will be faster in fact with the indication by Sinovac that they will be frontloading or advancing already their supply deliveries to the Philippines na so much so na by September lahat ng in-order natin na Sinovac ay darating na or dumating na sa bansang Pilipinas (that by September, all Sinovac doses we ordered ill arrive in the Philippines),” he added.
“So, good news iyan sa atin because ang per month arrivals ng vaccine natin eh lalaki na (So that’s good news because our monthly arrivals of vaccines will increase),” he said.
Back in January, the government secured 25 million doses of Sinovac jabs, which are supposed to be delivered from March until December 2021.
From this vaccine procurement, 13.5 million doses have so far been delivered, including the 1.5 million jabs that arrived in the country Saturday, July 17. The government still expects the delivery of the remaining 11.5 million doses of the Sinovac vaccines.
The Chinese-made vaccines are part of the 24.7 million doses already received by the Philippines that are being distributed to health workers, seniors, those with comorbidity, and essential workers. Among the coronavirus vaccines delivered to the country are AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sputnik V, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson.
More than 4 million Filipinos have so far been fully vaccinated since the government’s inoculation campaign started last March. The government’s original goal is to inoculate up to 70 million adult Filipinos to reach herd immunity before the end of the year.
According to Nograles, more coronavirus vaccines are expected to be delivered in the coming months, which can be distributed to areas outside Metro Manila.
He noted that the vaccination of Filipinos could help revitalize consumer and business confidence and consequently spur economic recovery.
“That will create a lot of you know, more confidence. More confidence against the virus, more confidence in terms of consumer spending, more confidence in terms of business activities at iyan ang gusto nating mangyari leading to the ‘ber’ months (that’s what we want to happen leading to the ‘ber’ months),” he said.
“Alam naman po natin pagdating ng ‘ber’ months – September, October, November, December – itong July and August is very crucial in terms of the vaccine deployment para pagdating po ng mga ‘ber’ months mas marami na po sa ating mga kababayan ang na-vaccinate not just for the first dose but the second dose as well,” he said.