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The Philippines will start receiving the bulk of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines of up to 7 million doses this month, said vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., also chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

"Ang maganda po dito 'yong delivery natin ng ano ng May, baka po from 4 million madadagdagan po tayo ng 7 million. Malaki po 'yon, Mr. President, kasi ang dadagdag po dito 'yong COVAX mukhang makakapag-deliver na po ng Pfizer at saka ng AstraZeneca (The good news is that, the delivery this May may increase from 4 million doses up to 7 million doses. That's a huge volume, Mr. President, because the COVAX facility may also be delivering Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines)," Galvez told President Rodrigo Duterte in a Cabinet meeting Wednesday night.

Galvez assured that enough doses dedicated for the vaccinees' second shots would arrive on time.


"'Yong second dose wala na po tayong problema. Mayroon po tayong makukuha ngayong May more or less baka mga 1 million or 2 million na AstraZeneca. Iyong definite date lang po ang ina-ano po natin. So matutuwa na po 'yong mga nakapag-first dose dahil kasi mayroon pong padating na COVAX na AstraZeneca (We don't have a problem with the second dose. We might be having more or less 1 million or 2 million doses of AstraZeneca this May. We are just working on the definite dates so we are glad because the AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX Facility will be delivered)," he said.

As of May 4, a total of 2,065,235 Filipinos have been vaccinated with at least one dose against Covid-19, with 320,586 persons fully vaccinated.

The bulk of the vaccines will be arriving in June, allowing the government to begin the inoculation of the general populace, Galvez added.

"So pataas po nang pataas ang volume po, Mr. President. Talagang ang medyo nahirapan lang po tayo noong March at saka April. Pero ngayong May medyo mayroon pong bubuhos sa atin (We will be receiving an increased volume of vaccines, we really had hard times during March and April, but this May, more vaccines will be arriving)," he said.

An estimated 20-30 percent of the country's healthcare workers have yet to be vaccinated, according to Galvez, as they opted to wait for the arrival of other brands of Covid-19 vaccines.

Despite negative reports, Galvez said the public's acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccines has significantly increased, noting that more Filipinos wanted to get immunized.

To date, data from Our World in Data show that the Philippines is fourth among Southeast Asian nations with the most number of vaccine doses administered.

With the arrival of more vaccines this month, Galvez said the government's target to vaccinate 500,000 persons daily is "very doable".

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