MANILA, May 20 (Mabuhay) —
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday admitted that the incoming supplies of COVID-19 vaccines are not enough for A4 category (essential workers) as the country is still far from reaching herd immunity.
The top health official said around 12 million economic frontliners would be needing about 24 million doses of vaccine.
“Hindi pa rin sapat dahil tatapusin pa natin yung mga A2 group or seniors so mga 18 million doses sa mga 9 million na katao kasi siyempre 2 doses per person [It’s still insufficient because we need to finish vaccinating 9 million A2 group senior citizens who need 18 million doses because we need two doses per person],” Duque said.
“We still need 10 million doses for people with comorbidities,” he added.
According to Duque, 500,000 doses of Sinovac are expected to arrive on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Meanwhile, the health chief noted that 160,000 doses of vaccines made by American drugmaker Moderna will arrive this May.
In addition, Duque said 300,000 Sputnik V doses will also arrive soon, while 2.2 million doses of Pfizer will also be delivered.
“Lahat ito sana walang mangyari na antala. Tuloy-tuloy na bakunahan na DOH government vaccination rollout program [I hope there will be no delays so that our vaccination will be continuous],” Duque said.
During the Talk to the Nation aired on Tuesday, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said they are preparing to inoculate A4 and A5 (indigent) groups once supplies of vaccines become steady.
Duque echoed Galvez’s suggestion, saying they plan for an overlapping of vaccination for A4 groups to ramp up inoculation.
“Magkakaroon ng overlapping implementation kasi yung iba ayaw magpabakuna eh ‘di sayang naman so ibigay natin doon sa economic frontliners natin and government frontliners so mayroon tayong sistema na naaprubahan ni President (Rodrigo) Duterte noong Lunes,” he said.
To date, the national government has so far vaccinated 3 million individuals nationwide. (MNS)