Palace: 30,000 Filipinos vaccinated against Covid-19 in a week

About 30,000 Filipinos have received anti-coronavirus vaccines under the government’s Covid-19 immunization program that was launched a week ago, Malacañang said Monday.

In a televised briefing, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said 29,266 individuals have so far received Covid-19 shots as of Sunday in about 186 vaccination sites nationwide.

Roque also said that 383,980 vaccine doses were deployed in hospitals across the country, of which 329,480 doses were from China’s Sinovac Biotech and 54,500 doses were from British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that more than 222,783 health care workers in the government’s master list for Covid-19 vaccination are expected to be inoculated within the next two weeks.

“As far as the master listed health workers are concerned, now that we have both Sinovac and AstraZeneca, we’ll be able to complete the lists and names of health care workers whether or not they are senior citizens or younger,” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.

The Philippines is eyeing to vaccinate some 1.8 million health care workers within the month until May, before immunizing the next priority groups such as the elderly and the poor.

The health department said the number of doses acquired by the government so far are insufficient to cover all medical professionals.

“The number of doses we have so far are insufficient because we estimate there are 1.8 million health care workers from hospitals down to community level,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a televised briefing.

The country has so far received a total of 1.1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines. Of these, 600,000 Sinovac vaccine doses are donated by the Chinese government, while 525,600 are AstraZeneca vaccines from the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.

Authorities are banking on additional 400,000 vaccine doses expected to be donated by the Chinese government, and additional 44 million shots from the COVAX Facility.

They are also awaiting the supply of other drugs procured by the government and the private sector, such as the 17 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses and over 13 million doses from American drugmaker Moderna Inc.

The Philippines began its immunization program against Covid-19 on March 1 using vaccines manufactured by Sinovac, with health workers, military personnel, and top pandemic response officials aged 18 to 59 getting the first of the coveted shots.

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