PASAY CITY (9 October 2021) — With the influx of bigger COVID-19 vaccine shipments to the country, National Task Force against COVID 19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr urged local government units to be more creative and closely work with stakeholders to ramp up their vaccination rollout.

“Wala ng problema sa ating supply. Ang challenge now is throughput, administration, and demand. Kaya nananawagan tayo sa lahat ng LGUs kasama ang DILG, mayors, governors, military, at kapulisan, paghusayan natin ang pagbabakuna,” said Galvez during the arrival of more than 1.3 million doses of Moderna on Saturday.

The vaccine czar said that LGUs must be creative in scaling up their vaccination throughput by looking for ways to generate greater demand among their constituents, and consequently, increase the daily vaccination output throughout the regions.

Local chief executives, he pointed out, should take the lead in initiating partnerships with different agencies, as well as the private sector in order to get the COVID-19 jab into the arms of more people.

“Kung kailangan nila ng mga sasakyan to transport people or healthcare workers to vaccination sites, they can request and tap the PNP and AFP,” Galvez said.

“They may also partner with the private sector or other sectors to make things happen because our collective vision here is for us to reopen and recover our economy and safely exit the pandemic,” he added.

With the latest shipment from Moderna, the Philippines has received a total of 85,575,600 vaccine doses since February.

Galvez noted that more than 14.2 million doses were delivered to the Philippines in the first week of October, with average daily arrivals hitting 1.5 million doses.

“With the steady arrival of vaccines, we call on our local leaders and regional directors to set aside political differences and focus on our efforts to inoculate as many people as possible,” he said.

According to Galvez, the country has more than 36 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in its national warehouses, which are scheduled for deployment across the country.

As of October 8, more than 49 million doses have been administered, with 23 million individuals now fully vaccinated.

Galvez expressed optimism that with the current vaccine supply, confirmed deliveries, and the scaled up vaccine rollout of LGUs, the country will be able to achieve its goal of fully vaccinating 50% to 70% of the country’s target population by year end.

Collaboration and partnership among governments and private sector

Galvez also thanked the US government and the private sector led by ICTSI and Zuellig Pharma Corporation for fully supporting the country’s vaccination program.

Zuellig Pharma Corporation Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs Raymond Azurin, who represents the Emergency Use Authorization holder of Moderna in the Philippines and among the procuring entities in the tripartite agreement with Moderna, expressed confidence in the country’s vaccination program, as more vaccine supplies are scheduled to arrive in the country.

“Moderna has now delivered a total of 9.9 million doses since the start of their deliveries. This is really a sign of a good partnership between the government and private sector through a tripartite agreement,” said Azurin.

“Thanks to Secretary Galvez, and of course, Secretary Duque for working together very closely with the private sector to make all of these happen. Hopefully, the aim of being able to get a better Christmas is just within reach for all of us,” he added.

Meanwhile, US Embassy Deputy Counselor for Economic Affairs Zeenat Syed reaffirmed the US government’s continued support to the Philippines’ pandemic response efforts and vaccine rollout.

“The United States is very proud that US vaccines are supporting the government’s vaccination effort and that they are helping vaccinate millions of Philippine citizens against COVID 19,” Syed said.

“We cooperated with the Philippines for many years in the areas of global public health and working with stakeholders throughout the pandemic to support the Philippines and strengthen global health service,” she added. END