More than 2.7 million doses of Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were transported to the country on Friday morning, Oct. 8 — the first time that two different brands were delivered in a single flight.
Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, witnessed the arrival of 2,132,140 doses of Moderna and 661,100 doses of AstraZeneca at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 around 9:30 a.m. The vaccines arrived aboard a China Airlines plane via flight CI 701.
The AstraZeneca vaccines were procured by the private sector under the “Dose of Hope” program initiated by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and “Go Negosyo” founder Joey Concepcion.
Meanwhile, the Moderna shots were procured by the national government and private sector through a trilateral arrangement. A total of 1,384,280 doses will go to the government while 747,860 doses were allocated to the private sector.
“We are very thankful that our deliveries are now overflowing,” Galvez told reporters at the airport.
Part of the deliveries will be used in the pilot implementation of the vaccination of children and adolescents aged 12 to 17 on October 15.
“We are allocating 45,000 to 50,000 [doses] for our pilot [implementation],” he stated.
From the initial list of six hospitals in Metro Manila, the kick off of the pediatric inoculation was expanded to eight medical facilities.
These include the National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, Pasig City Children’s Hospital, Fe del Mundo Medical Center, Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center, St. Luke’s Medical Center, and Philippine Children’s Medical Center.
Each hospital will be given a supply based on the number of patients that they have, Galvez said.
Meanwhile, the vaccine czar said that the government was already relieved of pressure from LGUs asking for additional supply since the bulk of orders of the government have continuously arrived in the final quarter of 2021.
“Wala na tayong pressure sa mga LGUs kasi ‘yong mga LGUs ay nabibigyan na natin hanggang municipal level (We no longer feel pressure from the LGUs because we can now give supplies to them up to the municipal level),” Galvez said, noting that they were equitably distributing the vaccines to all regions so that the inoculation program will not be associated to any “political color.”
However, he warned local chief executives to avoid using the vaccination program as a “weapon” to advance their political careers ahead of the upcoming May 2022 national and local elections.
“Right now, we no longer have a supply issue. Our issue now is the demand and the vaccination throughput. We are encouraging all LGUs to capacitate their municipalities and cities. I enjoin all the governors and mayors to unite together. Huwag muna sila magkaroon ng (For the meantime, avoid having) political inclination, and do not use this vaccination [program] as a political weapon,” the NTF chief implementer stressed.
Currently, the country’s vaccine supply already reached 84,212,300 doses. It is expected to further increase to 100 million doses by the end of October.
From the supply, 48,925,517 doses were administered nationwide as of Thursday. A total of 26,051,504 people have received their first dose while 22,874,013 were fully vaccinated.