Carlito Galvez Jr. (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Oct 29 (Mabuhay) — Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa on Thursday expressed confidence the country will have a “better Christmas” since more vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are arriving.

“Better Christmas is well within reach in the Philippines,” he said, following the arrival of 896,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the Japanese government at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

He said to date, Japan has donated over three million doses to the Philippines.

“In Japan, we are currently seeing astonishing success in our vaccine program. The rate of adult vaccination has increased significantly. The number of new infection cases per day has declined dramatically,” Koshikawa said.

Koshikawa added that he expects the same to happen in the Philippines.

“I hope that our vaccine provisions of over three million to date would contribute to reaching that milestone of herd immunity,” he said.

He also pointed out that vaccine is an effective tool to combat the virus.

Meanwhile, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. expressed the same optimism, as the country will breach the 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines Thursday night with the scheduled arrival of government-procured 976,950 doses of Pfizer jab.

This, he said, is a preparation for a better Christmas as the vaccines provide protection to the population.

“The arrival of the (Japanese donated) vaccines comes at a crucial time as the government expands its vaccination program that now includes minors aged 12 to 17,” Galvez said.

He said he sees that the government can soon achieve its target of administering 800,000 to 1 million, or even up to 1.5 million Covid-19 jabs daily.

Galvez also acknowledged that the government is encountering challenges in the vaccination rollout.

“Since many are GIDA (geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas), it is possible that they don’t have a stable electricity and stable storage,” he pointed out.

Galvez reiterated that some of the vaccines have a sensitive storage requirement. (MNS)

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