MANILA, Philippines – Other regions will soon be getting bigger allocations of COVID-19 vaccines as part of efforts to address supply inequity and increase the vaccination rate among provinces, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.
Galvez said the distribution of more vaccine shots to other provinces will be implemented under the government’s recalibrated deployment strategy.
“We have already started to employ a new strategy in supply allocation wherein the primary consideration is given to the number of unvaccinated individuals per region or local government unit,” said Galvez, who also serves as chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19.
Through this new approach, Galvez believes that the NTF will be able to strike a balance between the number of unvaccinated individuals per region, their respective target population, and the number of doses in the country’s supply inventory.
“Sa ngayon, ang prayoridad na ay sa ating mga rehiyon so they can start expanding their vaccine rollout to priority groups A1 until A5,” he added.
According to Galvez, the move is also in response to the request of some local chief executives for bigger allocation as their vaccination program has been limited to the priority sectors of healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities, while other cities in the country have already started inoculating their essential workers and indigenous people.
Galvez earlier said that the country is expecting to receive 25 million vaccine doses for the month of September.
The bulk of this supply will be deployed to Regions 1, 3, 4A, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, and BARMM.
The vaccine czar said that the vaccine supply to be deployed in high-risk cities and municipalities will be directly shipped to them and will not be included in the batches sent to the provinces.
“This mechanism will be more efficient because those areas with high economic and social risks will be able to receive their allocation immediately and inoculate their constituents at a faster rate,” Galvez said.
The National Capital Region, which has fully vaccinated 45.51% of its target population, will receive a smaller allocation this September, he added.
Meanwhile, Galvez bared that preparations are now underway for the second wave of procurement of COVID-19 vaccines.
“Patapos na ‘yung first wave ng procurement natin, which is our supply for this year. We have already an assured supply of 187.6 million doses from various sources kaya maliban sa pagsiguro sa maagang deliveries ng mga bakunang ito, pinaghahandaan na rin natin ang pagbili ng mga bakuna na kabilang sa mga second generation of vaccines,” he said.
He said that an initial budget of USD45 million has been earmarked for this second wave of vaccine purchases.
The Philippines has so far received 52 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from different manufacturers since February.
As of August 31, a total of 33,706,295 doses have been administered in the country – over 19.7 million have received their first dose while 13.9 million have been fully vaccinated.