ALMOST a million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 arrived in Cebu Tuesday evening, October 5, 2021.
Department of Health Central Visayas Director Jaime Bernadas said the arrival of the 994,500 doses is the largest single delivery of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to the region.
It is donated by the U.S. Government and USAID through the Covax facility. Priority is for A1, A2, A3 and A5 in line with Covax prioritization.
Covax is a global vaccine-sharing scheme designed to ensure equitable access to vaccines, especially for low- and middle-income countries.
Covax is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) who are working in partnership with Unicef, the key implementing partner, and civil society organizations, vaccine manufacturers, and World Bank, among others.
According to Unicef, prioritizing those most exposed and at risk of severe disease will “ensure the prevention of overwhelming healthcare facilities and reduce the need for implementing more stringent quarantine measures while guaranteeing smoother economic revival.”
Earlier this year, World Health Organization (WHO) representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said that WHO is urging those concerned to “kindly respect” the prioritization that has been determined by the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group in consultation with WHO to ensure the continued rollout of Covax vaccines into the country.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said earlier this year that the Philippines will receive 44 million doses of free Covid-19 vaccines allocated by Covax within the year.
The Philippines has received 193,050 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the Covax Facility in May and an additional 2.28 million doses of the same vaccine in June. In May, more than two million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines arrived in the Philippines from the COVAX facility. In August, the Philippines received three million doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccines from the US Government through the Covax facility.
DOH, WHO and Unicef urged local governments to make the best use of available vaccines for the priority populations, while continuing with other preventive measures, such as wearing of masks, hand hygiene and physical distancing. (JOB, NRC)