MANILA, Philippines — A “merrier” Christmas can be expected this year as the government is set to start the COVID-19 vaccination of essential workers from the government and private sector under the A4 priority group, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said Saturday.
Concepcion added that the Philippines is expected to receive millions of COVID-19 vaccines in the 3rd quarter of the year.
According to Concepcion, 1.17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are expected to arrive in July and August, marking the “beginning of even more AstraZeneca vaccines arriving for the private sector and local government units”
The Philippines is expected to receive a total of 17 million doses, he said.
Moderna vaccines from the U.S. are also expected to arrive in the country in the third quarter, along with Novovax and Covaxin vaccines from India.
“With these millions of vaccines arriving and if both the private and public sectors implement the vaccine rollout well, then we will definitely have a merrier Christmas and have a great start to a new year in 2022,” Concepcion said in a statement.
He said the vaccination of those under the A4 group, which includes frontline personnel in essential sectors including those in the government, private sector, and uniformed personnel, is set to start on June 7, Monday.
Concepcion said the government aims to achieve herd immunity for Metro Manila and other priority provinces before the end of the year, to allow the further reopening of the economy.
Concepcion added that he and Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos will lead the simultaneous signing of the pledge of commitment by the local chief executives of NCR Plus 8 and the private sector representatives to the “speedy and efficient” rollout of the mass vaccination program in their respective local government units for the A4 groups.
“Our goal is to achieve herd immunity in NCR plus 8. The target to vaccinate 70 percent of the population is ideal, but even if we are able to accomplish just 50 percent, which is what America has achieved so far, then we can really see the results in the business activity and consumer confidence,” he said.
The government is so far vaccinating medical frontliners, senior citizens, and individuals with comorbidities or underlying health conditions.
“With the vaccination program now reaching our economic frontliners and others in essential sectors, we can expect more economic activity to happen and this will hopefully mean the return of jobs lost and the confidence in our economic growth prospects,” Concepcion said.
“With the vaccination of A4 groups, we will be able to reopen the economy and look forward to a promising merry Christmas for the Filipino people and an auspicious start to a new year in 2022. That has always been our objective,” he added.
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