THE National Task Force Against COVID-19 asked local government units (LGUs) to prioritize those who have already received their first shot of a Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine and give them their second dose.
This came amid another imminent delay in the delivery of China-made COVID-19 vaccine supplies to the country.
In a statement, Secretary Vince Dizon said global supply constraints may have caused the delay of 2.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccines which are supposed to arrive today. Sinovac delivery has been moved to July 18.
In a separate statement, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez said that the government is working to move up the arrival of the shipment to an earlier date.
“With this development, we advise all LGUs who have Sinovac vaccines in their inventory to ensure that the allocation for the second dose should be used as the second dose,” he said.
“Huwag po nating gamitin as first dose ang para sa second dose na Sinovac para masiguro na magkakaroon ng full protection ang ating mga kababayan na nakakuha na ng first dose,” Galvez added.
Earlier, Health Secretary Francisco Duque issued an assurance that the interval between the first and second dose could be from three to six months, citing the Vaccine Expert Panel.
“Wala pong problema ‘yan kahit magkaroon ng konting delay. Ang mahalaga, kunin pa rin ang second dose,” Duque said in his advisory.
To date, the Philippine government already administered over 12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Interestingly, only 2.5 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated.
Latest government figures showed 1.44 million COVID-19 cases with more than 1.3 million recoveries and 25,296 deaths as of July 6.