MANILA – The National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 advised local government units (LGUs) and the private sector that cheaper coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines are just as effective against emerging variants.
If LGU and the private sector wish to secure more Covid-19 vaccines through the tripartite agreement, it’s better to go for deals with lower prices, said NTF chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., in Filipino in a media interview during the arrival of the private sector-procured 661,200 AstraZeneca doses at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 on Friday.
The vaccine czar said the government has already accumulated 58,208,810 doses of coronavirus jabs from various manufacturers as of September 17, with 40,518,845 doses already administered nationwide.
He also announced the expected arrival of the “long-awaited” 190,000 doses of the Sputnik V Component II vaccines over the weekend.
“For those who are worrying about their second doses, there will be Sputnik V vaccines arriving tomorrow (Saturday) evening, which will immediately be given to those who have received their first doses or the Sputnik V component I,” he said.
Galvez said there’s nothing to worry about the delayed administration of the Sputnik V component II to the recipients “since the component I is already providing us around 70 to 83 percent of protection against the disease”.
“This component II is administered just like boosters,” he added.
More Pfizer jabs
The United States government has likewise committed to donating additional 4.3 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine through the COVAX Facility.
“We are expecting the arrival of 10 million doses in total from COVAX. This is a huge contribution to our national vaccination program. We are very thankful to the US government for these donated vaccines,” he said.
The US government has already delivered six million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, the majority of which are Pfizer jabs.
“We are expecting more than 60 million doses within this month and next month,” Galvez confirmed, adding over 130 million doses will be delivered until the end of the year. (PNA)