Less than a month to vaccinate frontliners

By Fernan Angeles

IT would not take an entire month to inoculate all medical frontliners, says Malacañang on Sunday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the medical frontliners would be the first to take the shots as soon as the 117,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility arrive anytime soon.

The figure covers an estimated 50,000 medical frontliners who should be receiving two doses each.

Medical frontliners are the first to be inoculated as provided for in the government’s priority list for vaccination.

Aside from the 117,000 doses from the COVAX facility, the government also hinted on using the following batch of around 5 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca to the medical frontliners. — “So inaasahan natin na lahat nu’ng nasa paunang frontliners natin na mahigit-kumulang 1.4 million, lahat ‘yan ay mabibigyan dahil 5 milyon mahigit ‘yung AstraZeneca na darating din also within the month,” Roque said.

“Inaasahan natin sa buong linggo na ito, sa buong buwan na darating ay lahat ng medical frontliners at may immediate na priority ay at least nasimulan na. Pero definitely hindi aabot ng isang buwan para matapos natin lahat ng medical frontliners,” Roque added.

British Ambassador Daniel Pruce on Friday said the Philippines will receive nearly 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, mostly of the AstraZeneca brand following the selection of the Philippines to be among the countries which the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) identified as the first recipients of vaccines from the COVAX facility.

The COVAX facility is a global initiative that seeks equal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for countries across the globe.

The Department of Health earlier said the COVAX facility will provide COVID-19 vaccines to 20% of the country’s population but only those for 15% will be free.

Vaccines for the remaining 5% will be paid by the government. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., however, assured the public that the decrease in the allocation of free vaccines from the COVAX facility would not be a problem, saying the government could still secure additional doses at a reasonable price.

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