Sunday, April 25, 2021

More Covid vaccines arriving

AT LEAST 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in the country in the next few months, according to the government.

It said the vaccines could arrive as early as June with deliveries stretching until August after Manila secured contracts with Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax and Gamaleya Institute. 

The Food and Drug Administration has also approved the emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

Only 1.2 million of the country’s 110 million population had been vaccinated, mostly health care workers and senior citizens and those with comorbidities.

Manila is eyeing to receive 500,000 vaccine doses from Sinovac, 20,000 doses from Gamaleya and 195,000 doses from Pfizer through the COVAX facility.

The 20,000 doses of Gamaleya Institute’s Sputnik V is only a mini-rollout as the Russian pharmaceutical company conducts testing in the Philippines.

Once the government completed the agreement with Pfizer, it could make an early delivery of 2.4 million doses this second quarter.

Despite the lack of vaccine supplies, President Rodrigo Duterte said the government is excellent on its mass inoculation program. Duterte said he is even prepared to invoke the police power of the state to effectively respond to the pandemic, allaying fears that government is running out of interventions in the present health crisis.

“Kapag sinabi na we are at a critical condition, there is no space for the doctors and the nurses to move and stay healthy, then we begin to exercise the police power of the state. When we are pushed to the wall, either by the microbe itself or by external, internal, I can always order the military and the police to go there and confiscate the operation of the hotels. So kayong mga kababayan ko, huwag kayong matakot diyan sa ano. Hindi naman tayo talagang walang-wala eh. We are not really at a total loss of what to do. We know what to do,” Duterte said.

But he was quick to say that he will only invoke such power to control private facilities once the country’s healthcare system is at maximum capacity.

Duterte said that his administration is doing all it can to come up with interventions that mitigate, rather than aggravate, the medical and socio-economic impact of the pandemic.

Despite government efforts, he admitted that the only hope to fully recover from Covid-19 lies solely on massive vaccination program, noting, however, that the country has to compete with other nations in securing sufficient supply considering the current global vaccine shortage.

“Do not be afraid. Government is working. Government is busy doing everything, not nothing. Government is trying to get the things to fix all of us. Iyong mga bagay ngayon nandiyan pero wala sa ating mga kamay. Nandiyan ang bakuna, hindi sa ating kamay. Sa kamay ng ibang tao. And this will go I think before it gets better, we’ll have to go to the worst of times,” he said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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