Gov’t targets to vaccinate health workers, seniors by mid-2021: Dizon

The government aims to vaccinate health workers and senior citizens against COVID-19 by mid-2021, an official leading the government’s COVID-19 response said Wednesday.

According to Vince Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, 117,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by American pharmaceutical company Pfizer are expected to arrive in the country in April.

“Malaking bagay rin po ito, lalong-lalo na para sa ating health care workers na priority nating matapos hanggang buwan ng Abril at Mayo,” said Dizon.

“Ang objective po natin ay by mid-year ay natapos na po natin ang ating mga health care workers, pati na rin ang ating mga senior citizens,” he added.

On Sunday, more than 35,000 health workers were vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccines, far from the more than 1.7 million total number of health workers in the country.

According to Dizon, the government hopes that with the arrival of the vaccine in the middle of the year, other Filipinos will also be vaccinated.

To achieve herd immunity that will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the number of people vaccinated every day must reach hundreds of thousands, Dizon said.

“Ang target natin ay 250,000 to 300,000 (kada araw) pero ito ay depende sa supply na makukuha natin. So ngayon nag-uumpisa pa lang tayo pero confident po tayo na pagdating po ng supply,” he said.

Gov’t targets to vaccinate health workers, seniors by mid-2021: Dizon

It is said that vaccinators can take 2 or 3 shifts to reach the target.

It is said that all the first doses of Sinovac vaccines have been distributed while almost half of the vaccines have been sent to hospitals.

“Sa mga susunod na araw, made-deploy na rin iyong natitirang mga bakuna natin,” said Dizon.

Another 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to arrive from Sinovac this March. It was paid for by the government and in addition to the additional 400,000 doses donated by the Chinese government to the Philippines.

Meanwhile, the Philippines continues negotiations with India for ’s Covaxin vaccine, according to Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Shambhu Kumaran.

In January, Bharat Biotech applied for emergency use authorization in the Philippines.