Tue. Apr 13th, 2021

Despite the challenges in acquiring vaccines, especially the limited global supply, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. assured the government is exerting all efforts to secure coronavirus jabs for all Filipinos.

IATF Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on October 20, 2020. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Galvez earlier noted that about 80 percent of the available vaccines globally have already been procured by rich countries, resulting in limited supplies.

He also mentioned that the Philippines is experiencing slight delays in vaccine deliveries due to “global logistics constraints.”

Sa ngayon po (so far), most probably baka magkaroon po tayo ng (we are expecting to acquire the) vaccine ng (in the) first quarter, most probably by March, and then also, ang mga (the acquisition of the) second tranche is [in the] second quarter, third quarter and fourth quarter,” Galvez said.

A New York Times (NYT) report published March 31 said “86 percent of shots that have gone into arms worldwide have been administered in high- and upper-middle-income countries. Only 0.1 percent of doses have been administered in low-income countries.”

The same NYT report, based on data compiled by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, stated that “low-income countries made their first significant vaccine purchase agreements in January 2021 – eight months after the United States and the United Kingdom made their first deals.” 

The Task Group on Diplomatic Engagement and Negotiation, Galvez said, showed the Philippines is 48th among 141 countries in terms of administering the Covid-19 vaccine as of March 30.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines is ranked third behind Indonesia and Singapore, according to financial and media company Bloomberg’s tracker.

Bloomberg also showed more than 590 million doses have been administered across 141 countries, enough to vaccinate 3.9 percent of the global population.

The latest rate was approximately 15.3 million doses daily.

The NTF reported some 738,913 doses have been administered to priority groups, such as healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

Of this number, 68 percent, equivalent to 737,569, received the first dose, while 1,344 or 0.1 percent have completed two doses.

Around 58 percent of 1,468,200 on-hand vaccines have also been distributed to 2,596 vaccination sites nationwide. SOVEREIGNPH

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