PH vaccine rollout is 'not slow' — Galvez

Published September 9, 2021, 3:50 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Philippines has not been sluggish in vaccinating its people against the COVID-19, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. maintained on Thursday, September 9.

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) flock at the Matina Town Square in Davao City to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus disease. (Keith Bacongco/MANILA BULLETIN)

“We are not slow on our vaccination,” Galvez said in presenting the administration’s vaccine rollout at the House Committee on Economic Affairs’ inquiry on the delay in the national government’s approval of multi-party agreements (MPAs) for the purchase of vaccines by local government units and the private sector.

He said the country is not lagging behind, and is even “above” other nations in the inoculations.

“Some people said that we are very slow on the vaccination program, but if you look at the rankings, out 204 countries globally, we are 21st, we are in the upper 10 percent,” Galvez said.

As of Thursday, the Philippines has received a total of 52,792,130 doses of vaccines, 37,176,513 of which were already administered.

In terms of individuals inoculated, Galvez touted that a total of 21,338,714 have received their first dose, while a total of 15,836,799 individuals got their second dose.

The government initially eyed to vaccinate 70 percent of the Philippines’ population, or a total of 77,139,059 individuals, to achieve herd immunity against the novel coronavirus by year-end.

On Wednesday, Galvez said they are planning to increase the vaccination threshold to 80 to 90 percent, as advised by health experts.

At present, the number of those fully inoculated against COVID-19 is 20.53 percent of the government’s target and 14.37 percent of the country’s entire population.

“We will achieve 70 percent of full-vaccinated population in NCR (National Capital Region), Region 3 and Region 4-A (Calabarzon), Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, CDO (Cagayan de Oro), Iloilo City and other risk areas by end of October,” Galvez told the House panel.

“We want to achieve also at least 50 percent first dose to the rest of the region by end of October,” he added.

Galvez said the Philippines expects the delivery of 61 million more vaccine doses within September and October this year.