Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (MNS Photo)

MANILA, July 17 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Health (DOH) is optimistic that the government will be able to reach its target of administering 500,000 coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) jabs daily by August.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III made this remark as more vaccine supplies continue to pour into the country which is expected to boost the government’s vaccination efforts.

“Our assumption is we will reach 500,000 jabs per day, yesterday, we already reached the highest it’s 392,000 jabs. The day before, it was 352,000 jabs. What’s the target? 500,000 jabs a day” Duque told reporters on the sidelines of the arrival of the China Airlines flight carrying 1,150,800 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines procured by the private sector on Friday.

A portion of the jabs will also be donated to local government units.

Once the country achieves this goal, Duque said population protection is achievable in “130 days”.

He, meanwhile, said the country is also focused on administering second dose vaccines to Filipinos.

“I think, hopefully by next month, we should be able to reach it. It is because the second dose is aggressively being pushed since we cannot only have first dose. We have to do second dose, in fact, it counts more, when you talk about herd immunity it’s the second dose,” Duque added.

On the other hand, National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. is expecting 16 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to arrive in the country this month.

“Our July projection is to have over 16 million vaccines. So far, we have 5,723 doses that have arrived. Another 1.6 million will arrive later, J&J (Johnson&Johnson),” he said.

Over 3 million jabs are expected to arrive in the country on Saturday — 1.5 million Sinovac jabs and 1.6 million single-dose vaccines of Johnson&Johnson.

“We have huge prospects that our volumes will be good. We see that our supplies have stabilized because when I reported to the President when we have a 10 million buffer, our projection will improve. If we can see our buffer now is at 7.5 million,” he said.

Galvez added that the country has received a total of 23,181,510 doses of vaccines from China (Sinovac), the United Kingdom (AstraZeneca), Russia (Sputnik V), and the United States (Pfizer-BioNtech).

On the other hand, Presidential Advisor for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said they are expecting another batch of AstraZeneca vaccines to be delivered next month.

“The over 1 million doses is the first batch as we are expecting another batch in mid-August about 1.17 million. Close to 500 companies purchased these vaccines from different levels from conglomerates of huge corporations, medium size, and micro-small entrepreneurs We will be able to consolidate for them since they were not able to meet the minimum order but were able to get different groups, like BDO Foundation, Go Negosyo to consolidate for the smaller companies for them to be able to secure these vaccines,” he added. (MNS)

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