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Private sector vax soon; 1.7-M gov’t doses, too

Michelle R. Guillang



The Covid-19 vaccines purchased by the private sector through a tripartite agreement with the government are set to be delivered by June this year, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. assured Wednesday.

During the joint House health and trade committee hearing on the national Covid-19 vaccination program, Galvez — chief implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 — said 100,000 private sector employees are targeted to be inoculated in the first 30 days of their program.

From 1 May to 5 June except for Sundays, the private sector aims to inoculate 3,335 individuals daily, Galvez said, noting that they are allowed to set up their own vaccination sites.

There will be 17 private sector vaccination sites in Metro Manila for this to be manned by 32 teams from private healthcare providers.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion disclosed that 1,004 private industries have ordered over 6.5 million doses of various Covid-19 vaccines through an initiative he led called “A Dose of Hope”.

He bared that 467 companies intended to procure more than 5.4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines and 60 companies ordered 35,676 Moderna vaccines.

Meanwhile, 364 firms ordered around 873,540 vaccines from Indian-made Novavax and 113 chose Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine with over 216,276 doses.

Concepcion said Bharat Biotech has “promised” to deliver the shots from May to June this year, stressing the demand of private sectors for “immediate deliveries”.

“What we want to appeal to DoH (Department of Health) and NITAG (National Immunization Technical Advisory Group) is to give private sectors the flexibility, because if you look at the industries which purchased these vaccines, many industries have different positions — and we will list them all — but (practice) flexibility in who comes first,” he said.

“When you have a company coming and sending employees, sometimes people will not be there at that certain time, but since they all belong to that particular company, we should just allow them to inoculate all of those in that list of A-4,” he added.

Concepcion revealed that industries such as food and beverage, water, energy, media, telecommunications, healthcare, manufacturing, construction, and business process outsourcing have purchased the vaccines.

Others, he said, were micro, small, and medium enterprises, agriculture, education, hotels and other accommodation facilities, logistics, financial services, and overseas Filipino workers.

“To me, vaccines, deployment, execution, acceptance are the only way that we will win this war against Covid-19,” he said.

More than 1.7 million doses of different Covid-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in the last week of April, Galvez also disclosed.

Around 500,000 Sinovac vaccine doses from China and 15,000 doses of Russian-developed Sputnik V vaccines are scheduled to be delivered on 22 April.

Last 11 April, about 500,000 Sinovac vaccines arrived in the country, and another half a million doses from the same pharmaceutical firm will be delivered again on 29 April.

At least 480,000 doses of Sputnik V will also arrive on the same day while about 195,000 doses of United States-made Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive before the month ends.

Galvez also revealed that more AstraZeneca vaccines may also be supplied through the COVAX facility.

He added that 1.3 million Filipinos have received the Covid-19 jab as of 20 April.

The Philippines, he announced, ranked fourth among its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia in terms of the number of doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered.

In his report, Indonesia topped the list with 17,233,178 from 13 January 2021 using Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines.

It was followed by Singapore with 2,213,888 with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and Myanmar with 1,740,000 using AstraZeneca vaccines.

“When we receive more or less 10 million or more or less 3.3 million doses in the National Capital Region alone, we can escalate to 500,000 vaccinees per day,” Galvez said.