MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has recorded its highest single-day output since the vaccination drive against COVID-19 started in March, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.
In a statement, Galvez said the country has administered a total of 702,013 doses of COVID-19 vaccines on August 3.
This means that the country has surpassed its goal of administering 500,000 doses daily.
Out of the 702,013 doses, 233,065 shots were administered as the first dose, while 468,948 doses were administered as the second dose, based on data from the National Vaccine Operations Center (NVOC).
Galvez assured that the government will continue to implement the “focus and expand” strategy in its deployment of COVID-19 vaccines, as the country’s vaccine supply remains insufficient for all local government units nationwide.
While vaccine supplies from different manufacturers and sources continue to arrive in bulk, the country’s vaccine inventory is still not enough to inoculate the target population of 70.8 million Filipinos, he added.
“In order to meet the monthly demand and increase the capacities of all regions, provinces, and districts, the Philippines needs at least 25 million doses monthly,” said Galvez.
In July, the country received 16.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the biggest shipment made in a single month since the start of the vaccine rollout in March.
Galvez stressed that the prioritization of areas, as well as the implementation of a phased vaccination program, is necessary to ensure the immediate protection of the nation’s highly vulnerable sectors, particularly the A1 (healthcare workers), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities) groups.
Under the phased vaccination program, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 will determine the vaccine allocation per region or province based on the following:
- The master lists of eligible population submitted by a local government unit
- The health, economic, social, and security risk of a locality
- The population density of an area
- The capacity of an LGU to receive and administer the vaccines
- The availability of vaccine supplies in the national inventory
“We conducted a risk assessment for our vaccine allocation. Our focus on deployment are areas in the NCR+10 and those with confirmed cases of the Delta variant,” he said.
Galvez likewise acknowledged that the government faces challenges in the vaccination of the A2 group, particularly those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
“This is the reason why we allocated the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines to these areas to increase the vaccination output and thankfully we are seeing progress,” he said.
Galvez said that the NTF and the NVOC will also give provinces the flexibility to determine the allocation for their respective cities and municipalities through their Regional Vaccination Operations Center.
“The allocation lists are being deliberated by NVOC and these are submitted to me and Secretary Vince [Dizon] for evaluation to ensure that the distribution will be based on the master list of priority sectors A1 to A3 since kulang na kulang pa ang supply,” he said.
“Our focus now is to ensure that we will have more vaccines this month and in the months ahead,” he added.