The country is set to receive a whopping 13,688,750 doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), Pfizer, Moderna, and Sinovac coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines until Wednesday, Dec. 15, in time for the second round of the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” National Vaccination Days.
Two deliveries were accomplished on Monday night, Dec. 13, with the arrival of 859,950 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Pfizer jabs and 1,526,400 doses of Janssen’s Johnson & Johnson (J&J) shots.
The Pfizer jabs were transported around 9 p.m. via an Air Hong Kong flight while the single-shot Johnson & Johnson came in an hour later via a Qatar Airways flight, both at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The Pfizer vaccines were procured by the government from the United States while the Johnson & Johnson doses were part of the total 7,538,400 vaccine donations of the Dutch government to the Philippines through the COVAX facility.
The rest of the Dutch government’s vaccine donations will be delivered as follows: 945,600 doses at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday; 2,011,200 doses at 10.15 p.m. Tuesday; and 3,055,200 doses at 4.10 p.m. Wednesday.
“My country, the Netherlands, is very pleased to be able to contribute to the vaccine efforts in the Philippines. What we are doing is providing Janssen vaccine that requires only one jab and therefore it will be very handy to be used in remote places particularly in the BARMM [Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao],” said Saskia de Lang, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the Philippines.
Johnson & Johnson is a single-dosage vaccine which means that around 7.5 million Filipinos will benefit from the donations of the Dutch government. The initiative will also be the largest single donation of COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines.
Under the principle of “Take One, Give One,” Lang said the Netherlands has committed to provide 27 million vaccines worldwide through the COVAX facility, which is the same amount of vaccines that are used in the Netherlands.
“This donations shows the importance that the Netherlands attaches to helping other countries fight COVID-19. The 7.5 million dosage will allow the Philippines to further strengthen its resilience and save lives of Filipinos. It is a testament to our people-to-people contact in a year when we celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations,” she said.
On Tuesday, the government was also scheduled to receive 1,512,000 Moderna from the donations of the French government; two million doses of Sinovac-CoronaVac from the donations of the Chinese government; and 1,778,400 doses of Johnson & Johnson from the donations of the Swedish and Austrian governments.
The Moderna vaccines were scheduled to arrive at 4 p.m.; Sinovac at 5:50 p.m.; and Johnson & Johnson at 7:30 p.m.
Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, head of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19’s strategic communications on current operations, said the Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Sinovac vaccines will be used in the second round of the “Bayanihan Bakunahan” National Vaccination Days from Dec. 15 to 17.
Around seven million individuals are targeted to be vaccinated in the three-day immunization drive. This will help the government reach its target of fully vaccinating 54 million Filipinos by the end of 2021 to reach population protection.
“On behalf of the vaccine cluster, we encourage, we appeal to those who haven’t [been] vaccinated yet to be vaccinated. We have all kinds of vaccines that are effective against COVID-19 and with the threat that we have with Omicron [variant], it is but necessary that we get vaccinated,” Mayor said.
Mayor said the government has already secured all the necessary ancillaries including syringes.
It can be recalled that the first round of the “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 was hounded by the lack of syringes for the Pfizer vaccine.
Still, around 10 million individuals were inoculated that time as the government extended the vaccination in some local government units (LGUs).
For his part, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the focus areas will be Mimaropa (Region 4B), Bicol (Region 5), Soccskargen (Region 12), and BARMM.
“Ito po ang tina-target natin para mapataas na lalo ang kanilang tinatawag nating vaccination capacity at saka vaccination output (We will be targetting these areas to further increase their vaccination capacity and vaccination output,” Galvez said during President Duterte’s “Talk to the People” public address Monday night.
As of Monday, a total of 37.4 million individuals have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19; 54.7 million have received their first dose; and 774,000 have been administered with their booster shots.
The total vaccine supply have reached 158,540,170 doses.