DAVAO CITY (31 August 2021) — With the expected arrival of nearly 137 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines beginning September, the Philippine government is determined to ramp up the country’s vaccine roll out particularly in the provinces.

According to National Task Force (NTF) against COVID 19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr, the country’s assured vaccine supply now stands at 187.6 million doses.

These doses, Galvez said, are composed of vaccines procured by the national government, local government units (LGUs), and private sector, as well as those committed by the COVAX facility and partner nations.

Of this number, 51,885,590 doses have been delivered to the country, including the latest shipment of three million Sinovac doses which arrived Tuesday’s night,

More than 31.3 million doses of the country’s total vaccine supply are government-procured, of which 27.6 million doses are composed of Sinovac vaccines.

“The latest three million doses of Sinovac at ang mga inaasahan pa nating deliveries sa darating na buwan ang simula ng ating pagtupad sa aming ipinangako na magkakaroon ng shift sa supply allocation ng mga bakuna kung saan prayoridad na ang supply ng mga LGU sa probinsya,” Galvez said during President Rodrigo Duterte’s Talk to the People public briefing on Tuesday.

He said that the three million doses are specifically allocated for the provinces, which include Cavite and Laguna. The National Capital Region’s (NCR) vaccine allocation will be limited for second doses.

Steady supply from China

“Natutuwa tayo na ang manufacturer from China like Sinovac ay very steady ang supply and they deliver in bulk. Three million doses sa isang shipment,” Galvez said.

He said that the country’s monthly vaccine deliveries are expected to scale up starting September, as the NTF has negotiated for bigger allocations from various manufacturers.

“’Yung inaasahan natin na more or less 137 million doses by September until December ay magsisimulang dumating sa September with 25 million doses,” he said.

The supply will be composed of 12 million doses of Sinovac, five million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, two million doses of Moderna, one million doses of Astrazeneca, one million doses of Sputnik Light, three million doses from the COVAX facility, and one million doses to be donated by a bilateral partner.

The vaccine czar said that deliveries from Moderna and Pfizer are expected to significantly increase by October with the arrival of three million doses and 10 million doses from the vaccine makers, respectively.

This brings the total vaccines which are expected to be delivered within this month to 29.5 million doses.

As of August 30, the country has administered a total of 33,306,355 doses nationwide, wherein 19.4 million doses were given as the first shot, while over 13.8 million individuals have received the second dose and are now fully-vaccinated.

In the NCR, 45.16% of the region’s 9.77 million target population are fully vaccinated.

Other regions, however, still have to catch up with the NCR’s inoculation rate, as less than 22% of their respective target population are fully vaccinated.

Galvez reiterated that “all vaccines work against severe infection and hospitalization.” He also appealed to the public to get the vaccine as soon as it’s available in their areas.

Memorial wall for healthcare workers

During his report to the President, Galvez presented the proposed frontliners’ memorial wall to be built at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Taguig City.

He said that a specific site has already been identified and consultations are currently ongoing with the design team.

Galvez said the memorial wall will have a mural of medical frontliners, healthcare workers, and other elements that represent the different “faces” of this pandemic.

Names of fallen medical frontliners and healthcare workers will also be engraved in the wall, he added.

“Ito po ang magiging dedication natin para sa kanilang heroism,” Galvez said.

The NTF, the DND, DOH, together with the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, aim to complete the project within three months or before December. END