Business World

Government eyes more than 5M vaccine doses in second quarter

- Kyle Aristopher­e T. Atienza and Vann Marlo M. Villegas

THE PHILIPPINE­S expects to take delivery of more than five million doses of coronaviru­s vaccines this quarter as it tries to fast-track the rollout amid a fresh surge in infections, according to the government’s vaccine czar.

Half-a-million doses of CoronaVac made by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. was expected to arrive on Thursday, and 15,000 more doses would come on April 25, Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., chief implemente­r of the country’s pandemic plan, told a televised news briefing on Thursday.

The government would also take delivery of about 500,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine made by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute for Epidemiolo­gy and Microbiolo­gy on April 29, he said.

About 195,000 doses of the vaccine developed by Pfizer, Inc. will arrive at the end of the month, Mr. Galvez said.

By May, the country will take delivery of about two million doses of CoronaVac, as many as two million doses of Sputnik V, and 194,000 doses of the vaccine made by Moderna, Inc. As many as two million doses of Pfizer, Inc. will have arrived by then, he said.

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 8,767 coronaviru­s infections on Thursday, bringing the total to 971,049.

The death toll rose by 105 to 16,370, while recoveries increased by 17,138 to 846,691, it said in a bulletin.

There were 107,988 active cases, 96.6% of which were mild, 1.3% did not show symptoms, 0.7% were critical, 0.9% were severe and 0.55% were moderate.

The DoH on April 2 reported the highest daily tally of 15,310 cases since the pandemic started last year.

The agency said 25 duplicates had been removed from the tally and 43 recovered cases were reclassifi­ed as deaths. One laboratory was closed on April 20, while five laboratori­es failed to submit data.

About 10.6 million Filipinos have been tested for the coronaviru­s as of April 20, according to DoH’s tracker website.

The coronaviru­s has sickened about 144.5 million and killed 3.1 million people worldwide, according to the Worldomete­rs website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organizati­on. About 122.7 million people have recovered, it said.

Mr. Galvez said almost 1.4 million Filipinos have been vaccinated against the coronaviru­s as of April 21.

Of the total, more than one million were health workers, while 184,200 were seniors. More than 210,880 people with health complicati­ons were also vaccinated, he added.

Mr. Galvez said the government had been vaccinatin­g as many 70,000 Filipinos daily in the previous weeks. About 120,000 Filipinos are expected to be inoculated daily by June, he added. —

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