PH receives fresh supply of Moderna shots

Published November 23, 2021, 12:20 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The country received another batch of Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine composed of 682,360 doses which were delivered at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 on Tuesday morning, Nov. 23.

Airport personnel loads 682,360 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at NAIA Terminal 1 on Nov. 23, 2021. (Photo: NTF Against COVID-19)

The government-procured jabs arrived onboard China Airlines flight CI706 around 9:35 a.m. They were received by Dr. Ted Herbosa, special adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, and representatives from the Department of Health (DOH) and Zuellig Pharma Corporation which will store the vaccines.

“Moderna is one of those vaccines we are using for our teenagers, 12 to 17 years old, and also we are now using this for our booster doses,” Herbosa said, referring to the administration of booster shots to healthcare workers (A1 priority), senior citizens (A2), and individuals with co-morbidities (A3).

The nationwide pediatric vaccination began last Nov. 3 while the booster vaccination kicked off on Nov. 17 for the A1 category and on Nov. 22 for the A2 and A3 priorities.

In total, the national government has already received 134,461,900 doses of COVID-19 vaccines including 14,607,060 doses of Moderna. Around 11.6 million doses of Moderna were purchased by the government and private sector while three million doses were donated by the United States to the Philippines via the COVAX facility.

Further, around four million doses more of Moderna are expected to be delivered within this month while the remaining supplies that will complete the 20 million order of the government and private sector will arrive until the end of December, according to Jannette Jakosalem, market managing director of Zuellig Pharma Corporation.

Of the total vaccine supply, the government has already administered 76,522,732 vaccine doses as of Monday. A total of 42,632,392 individuals have received their first dose while 33,847,741 have been fully vaccinated.

The fully vaccinated population represented 43.88 percent of 77 million eligible population that the government aims to inoculate by year-end to achieve herd immunity.

Meanwhile, Herbosa said the NTF held a command conference led by vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday to discuss the preparations for the upcoming “National Vaccination Day” from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.

He said the final details of the three-day nationwide immunization event will be announced by President Duterte in the coming days.

The program, dubbed as “Bayanihan, Bakunahan,” aims to ramp up the vaccination efforts in the country by inoculating at least 15 million individuals in the 16 regions outside Metro Manila.

“We are enjoining everyone, lahat na magvolunteer at tumulong sa ating (everybody to volunteer and help in the) National Vaccination Day. Fifteen million ang gusto nating mabakunahan sa tatlong araw na iyon, five million a day (We want to vaccinate 15 million [people] in the three-day [event], it would be five million per day),” Herbosa said.