THERE are about 24 million essential workers and there isn’t enough supply for them, admits Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque.
Interviewed over TV, Duque said that the incoming supplies of COVID-19 vaccines are not enough for essential workers clustered as A4 group in the national government’s vaccination priority sectors list, and as such the target date of hitting herd community may have to be deferred to a much later date.
“Hindi pa rin sapat dahil tatapusin pa natin yung mga A2 group or seniors so mga 18 million doses sa mga 9 million na katao kasi siyempre 2 doses per person,” said Duque, adding that the figure does not even include persons with comorbidities.
“We still need 10 million doses for people with comorbidities,” he added.
According to Duque, 500,000 doses of Sinovac are expected to arrive on Thursday at 7:30 p.m., and another 160,000 doses of Moderna vaccines are expected to land within this month. He also hinted at 300,000 Sputnik V doses arriving soon, along with 2.2 million doses of Pfizer.
“Lahat ito sana walang mangyari na antala. Tuloy-tuloy na bakunahan na DOH government vaccination rollout program,” Duque averred.
Earlier, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez announced that the government would inoculate A4 and A5 (indigent sector) groups once supplies of vaccines become steady – something that the Heath Secretary similarly agreed.
“Magkakaroon ng overlapping implementation kasi yung iba ayaw magpabakuna eh ‘di sayang naman so ibigay natin doon sa economic frontliners natin and government frontliners so mayroon tayong sistema na naaprubahan ni President (Rodrigo) Duterte noong Lunes,” he said.
Since the vaccine rollout started on March 1, the government has only managed to vaccinate three million Filipinos – the slowest in Asia.