Senator Christopher “Bong” Go reassured the continued deliveries of Covid-19 vaccines into the country based on the agreements signed by the government with the vaccine manufacturers and suppliers.
He said the government can expect to fulfill its target to vaccinate 70 million Filipinos by the end of 2021 should supplies of Covid-19 jabs arrive on time.
“Tuluy-tuloy ang pagbili ng gobyerno. Hopefully, sa Abril, may 5 million doses ng bakuna na naka-line up. Pagdating ng Mayo, mayroong additional na naman. Sana tuluy-tuloy ‘to. By second quarter, marami na ang mabakunahan at target mabakunahan ang 70 million by the end of the year para unti-unti natin ma-attain ang herd immunity (The government keeps on procuring vaccines. Hopefully, by April, 5 million doses are ready. Then by May, we have additional. By second quarter, more will be inoculated and by end of the year, 70 million will be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity),” Go said in a radio interview on March 26.
Go, chair of the Senate committee on health, said the government has already secured necessary number of doses of Covid-19 vaccine for the country’s frontline healthcare workers.
He said the government’s vaccination priority list must be followed amid reports of individuals jumping the vaccination line.
“Mayroon na tayong around 1.5 million [doses] na mga donated. Kalahati nito ay good for 750,000 frontliners. Ang good news, darating na sa Lunes ang mga binili ng gobyerno. Sasalubungin ni Pangulong [Rodrigo] Duterte ang 1 million doses ng Sinovac. Mayroon pa mga 900,000 na darating mula sa COVAX Facility soon. Magtu-total ito ng (around) 3.4 million [doses] so enough ito sa front-liners natin (We have 1.5 million donated doses. Half of these are good for 750,000 front-liners. Good news, on Monday, President Duterte will welcome the 1 million doses of Sinovac bought by the government. We have also 900,000 that will arrive soon through COVAX Facility. So the total is around 3.4 million. So these are enough for our front-liners),” Go said.
The country’s first batch of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine arrived on Feb. 28 while additional 400,000 doses were shipped to the country on March 24, all donated by the Chinese government.
The World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility has also so far delivered a total of 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca.
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte is set to welcome the arrival of 1 million doses of CoronaVax vaccine bought by the government from Sinovac Biotech.
“Ang priority sa ngayon ay mga frontline health workers, tapos senior citizens, tapos essential workers at indigents. Huwag kayong mag-alala. Bababa din ‘yan patungo sa lahat (The priority now are frontline health workers, then senior citizens, essential workers and indigents. Don’t worry it [vaccine] will reach to everyone),” Go said.
Go reiterated that the country is on schedule to acquire more than 3.4 million doses by the start of the second quarter of this year — enough to inoculate the country’s 1.7 million front-liners.
“After which, the vaccine program can already start inoculating other sectors in the priority list and eventually reach the general public,” he added.
He said President Rodrigo Duterte and the executive branch remain focused on obtaining enough vaccines for the people amid a limited global supply.
“Kaya kami sa Senado, ipinasa namin ang indemnification law… Iyun ang hiningi [ng mga manufacturers]. Ibinigay natin ang batas na ‘yun. Ang probema ngayon supply. Agawan talaga pero expected natin ‘yan (That’s why, we passed in the Senate the indemnification law, the one being required by the manufacturers. We gave that law. The problem now is supply. That’s is expected),” he said.
Go urged the people to trust the government to provide enough, safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines for every Filipino.