The Philippines has administered more than 4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, and is averaging 162,513 jabs daily, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said Sunday.
In a statement, the NTF said this ranks the Philippines second among the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries, 13th out of 47 countries in Asia, and 37th out of 196 countries worldwide.
Of the total number, 3,147,486 were first doses while 969,939 were second doses of the vaccines against COVID-19.
DOH: Jabs to be used before expiry date
Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said they are confident that the 2 million AstraZeneca vaccines will be used before they expire in June and July.
In an interview on Dobol B TV, she said that of the 2 million doses, 500,000 have already been administered and that 1 million will have been used by the end of May.
“We are confident we can use this up,” she said in a mix of English and Filipino.
“We have already distributed it to different parts of the country and some local government units are even asking for more.”
24/7 vaccination site eyed
A spokesman for the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said the vaccination site the government will build inside the Nayong Pilipino property may operate 24/7, to increase the number of daily inoculations.
NTF spokesman Restituto Padilla said the vaccination site was suited to 24/7 operations because it has its own vaccine storage facility.
While the vaccination site has been met with opposition, Padilla said the government hopes to get construction started within a month.
Not all frontliners vaccinated
BHW party-list Rep. Angelica Natasha Co on Sunday said several health care frontliners in hospitals have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Give the limited supplies of Pfizer vaccine doses to them first,” she said in a statement.
“If the geographical factor is included, prioritize the hospital with the highest numbers of COVID cases and located in COVID hotspots,” she added.
The DOH earlier reminded local government units to ensure that health workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities are prioritized for vaccination for AstraZeneca and Pfizer jabs as not doing so may jeopardize future supplies from the COVAX Facility.
“The AstraZeneca and Pfizer doses were provided by COVAX under specific conditions,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.