News Release

General population may start receiving COVID-19 shot by August, says vaccine czar

The government targets to start inoculating the nation’s general population in August as it expects to secure steady supply of COVID-19 vaccines from multiple producers, the country’s vaccine czar said on Wednesday.

“And then sa August po, we are targeting na pagka dumagsa na po ang ating mga vaccine, puwede na po tayong magkaroon po ng target ng population ng general public na po. Vaccination na po tayo by August kasi mayroon na po tayong eksaktong mga bakuna,” Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said in a report to President Duterte.

He told the President that they hope to have more vaccine deliveries in June that will enable the government to start vaccinating the country’s economic frontliners.

“At darating na rin po ‘yong — ‘yong mga binili po ng Go Negosyo, at dadating na rin po ‘yong binili po ng ICTSI nila Mr. Razon at Ayala, lahat ng mga conglomerates darating na rin po ng June so magsasabay-sabay na po tayo,” he said.

Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said they agreed to hold a symbolic mass vaccination of laborers this May 1, Labor Day.

“Humiling po si Secretary Bello na magbakuna tayo ng 5,000 na talagang mga frontliners, mga laborers, kasi Labor Day po,” he said.

“So ang gagawin po natin magbabakuna po tayo ng mga laborers. And we thank Secretary Duque for approving collectively — ‘yong lahat po na ano po natin, at marami pong salamat sa IATF.”

In March this year, the government started immunizing healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities and eyes to conclude it by July.

The government has so far vaccinated one million healthcare workers, with 700,000 still unvaccinated, according to Galvez.

“At ‘yong iba po kasi ‘yong iba talagang mayroong 27 percent po na ayaw magpabakuna at saka mayroon pong naghihintay ng Pfizer at saka mga Moderna, ‘yong mga vaccine na nasa Western,” he said.

A total of 250,000 healthcare workers already received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Galvez reported. Some 240,000 senior citizens and 256,000 persons with comorbidities also received the shot.

Galvez said they target to vaccinate two million to three million every week once there’s enough vaccine inventory in the country.

“Meaning ang ating per day is 500,000 to 1 million ang ano po natin makakaya po natin kasi po mayroon po tayong 5,000 na vaccination site. Iyong isang vaccination site po kaya po ‘yong 100. So 500,000 po kayang-kaya po in one day,” he said.

The government expects the bulk of vaccine deliveries by June, as supplies from Moderna, Sinovac, Gamaleya, AstraZeneca, and from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility come in.

It also sees more supply in the third quarter as wealthy Western nations complete immunizing 60 to 70 percent of their populations. PND