AstraZeneca vaccine delivery boosts vax drive vs Delta — Concepcion

Published August 13, 2021, 3:17 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The private sector is committed to help the government implement a swift and efficient vaccination of more Filipinos especially during the implementation of the strict lockdown, according to Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion are among the officials who welcomed the arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines procured by the private sector at the Manila airport on August 13, 2021. (Photo/Concepcion)

Concepcion cited the need for a “fast and almost perfect” vaccine rollout as he welcomed the arrival of the second batch of AstraZeneca vaccines procured by the private sector.

At least 575,800 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines were delivered to the country Friday, August 13. The vaccine delivery was made possible through a tripartite agreement among the national government, the private sector represented by Concepcion, and the British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm.

“The arrival of the second batch this August of AstraZeneca vaccines totaling to 1.15M doses procured by the private sector is very timely, as we are aggressively rolling out vaccination efforts to help prevent the transmission of the Delta variant,” Concepcion said in a statement.

“We want to help the government so that we can execute the vaccine rollout in the fastest and most efficient way possible,” he said.

The first batch of the vaccines, consisting of 1.1 million doses, procured under the Dose of Hope program, was delivered last month. The remaining 594,200 doses are expected to arrive before the end of the month.

Concepcion said the private sector could focus on inoculating their employees while the local government units attend to their constituents and the national government on vaccinating those not yet covered.

“We need a fast and almost perfect rollout and the private sector, with the arrival of these vaccine doses from AstraZeneca, can now do that for its employees,” he added.

Concepcion recognized that the intensified vaccination efforts during the strict lockdown would “help us beat the Delta variant.”

Addressing the Delta threat, he said, would save the fourth quarter of the year “from irreversible effects to the healthcare system and to the economy.”

The business sector earlier backed the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila to contain the virus spread fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant. The lockdown, declared in Metro Manila from August 6 to 20, 2021, would allow the government to reach the unvaccinated before the coronavirus gets them, Concepcion said.

Apart from Concepcion, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. and AstraZeneca Country President Lotis Ramin welcomed the arrival of the AstraZeneca jabs in the country.

Galvez commended the private sector for backing the government’s efforts to address the pandemic.

“This milestone is the result of the collective efforts of our LGUs, our private sector partners, and our healthcare workers. They always find ways to ensure that they will deliver on their promises,” he said. “We got the commitment of our local government units (LGUs), especially those in areas under ECQ, that our vaccination efforts this August will be more aggressive because of the Delta variant,” he added.

Ramin said AstraZeneca is also committed to work with the government and private sector partners to support the mass vaccination program.

“The delivery of more than 8 million vaccine doses to date from COVAX, donations, and from this tripartite agreement recognizes our continuous efforts to help Filipinos regain a sense of normalcy and achieve economic recovery,” Ramin said.

“We will continue to come together as one, to vaccinate more Filipinos as our country’s best COVID-19 defense,” the official added.