Additional vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) will be deployed to areas where the more transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus was detected.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Chief Implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, said inoculation program in Northern Mindanao (Region 10), National Capital Region (NCR), Western Visayas (Region 6), and other areas of concern will be prioritized.
“Because of the Delta, we are redeploying our vaccines to the Delta variant area of concerns in Region 10, in NCR, in Region 6 and those under ECQ and MECQ (enhanced community quarantine and modified enhance community quarantine) areas,” he said during a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao on Monday night.
There is also a possibility to impose stricter measures, according to the President, to prevent local transmission of the variant that is said to be more aggressive and fatal.
The Delta variant, first discovered in India, is 60 percent more transmissible than the original strain and the common Alpha variant (B.1.1.7. UK lineage).
A person with the original strain can infect two others while a person with Delta variant can transmit the disease to up to eight persons, according to experts.
Among non-areas of concern, Galvez said there is equitable distribution, based on the local government units’ projected eligible population for the vaccination program.
The NCR receives the larger volume supply of vaccines as it has a huge target population and is highly susceptible to Covid-19 infection, followed by Region 4-A (Calabarzon), Region 3 (Central Luzon) 1.2 million doses, and Region 7 (Central Visayas).
“We are very fair in our vaccine distribution. It is based on the targeted population and also it is based on the priority targets per sector,” he said.
Following the arrival of 3.2 million doses of the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccines, through the US-COVAX donation sharing agreement, Galvez said the municipalities of Tawi-Tawi and Basilan were each provided with 30,000 doses from the 300,000 doses for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Galvez said the NTF is set to visit General Santos City to inspect the status of its border control measures and vaccination program.
He cited the possible entry of the Delta variant in the city since it has been frequently visited by fishermen from Indonesia and Malaysia.