Govt eyes 24/7 vaccination

The government will study the possibility of holding 24-hour vaccination once a substantial volume of Covid-19 vaccines arrive in the country, a ranking official of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) said on Wednesday.

“Pag-aaralan po natin ‘yan ‘no. Syempre kailangan naman po i-manage din natin ‘yung sitwasyon nung mga vaccinators natin (We will study that. But of course, we also have to manage the situation of our vaccinators),” NTF deputy chief implementer Vivencio “Vince” Dizon said.

“Puwede tayo two to three shifts per day para po pagdating sa pagbabakuna ng general population natin ay mas marami at mas mabilis (We can hold two to three shifts per day so that once the vaccination of general population starts, more will get vaccinated, and it will be faster),” he added.

Dizon said the government plans to vaccinate up to 300,000 individuals per day to achieve its goal of inoculating up to 70 million.

The country needs 3.4 million doses for the inoculation of some 1.7 million medical frontliners and some 140 million doses to inoculate 70 million individuals.

The Philippines has so far received 1,125,600 doses — 600,000 from Sinovac and 525,600 from AstraZeneca.

The government expects to receive more than 2 million doses this month.

NTF Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the country is set to receive 1.4 million vaccines from China.

“Ang target natin ay 250,000 to 300,000 a day pero ito ay depende sa supply na makukuha natin (Our target is 250,000 to 300,000 a day, but it will depend on the supply that we will be able to secure),” he said.

“Ngayon nag-uumpisa pa lang tayo pero confident po tayo na pagdating po ng supply, sa tulong ng ating mga LGUs (local government units), ng ating mga pribadong kumpanya, pagdating natin sa punto na nagva-vaccinate na tayo ng general population aabot po tayo sa ganitong numero. Supply po talaga ang kailangan natin (We have just started, but we are confident that with the help of LGUs, private companies, once we start vaccinating the general population, we will reach this number. We really need the supply).”

Dizon said the government is doing its best to ensure that the Philippines will be able to secure vaccines.

“Nangako po ang World Health Organization na darating din po ang susunod na mga tranches ng AstraZeneca na manggagaling sa Covax Facility (The World Health Organization promised to deliver the next tranches of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Covax Facility),” he said.

“Kaya umaasa po tayo na mas marami sa 1.4 million na Sinovac ang matatanggap natin ngayong buwan ng Marso (That’s why we are hoping to receive more than 1.4 million Sinovac vaccines this March),” he added.

The government hopes to finish the inoculation of health care workers and senior citizens in June.