(Eagle News) – The Philippine government is targeting only nine million vaccine doses to be administered in the three-day National Covid-19 vaccination drive set from November 29 to December 1, the National Task Force Against Covid-19 said on Saturday.
This was a revision of the original plan of administering 15 million Covid-19 vaccine doses. As this came about, the NTF also announced the holding of another three-day vaccination campaign from December 15 to 17.
This is done to ensure hitting the target of vaccinating a total of 54 million doses in the country by year-end.
“Ito po ay bunga ng ating consultation this week with our local chief executives – lahat ng mga governors at mayors ng municipalities at cities at iyon ang napagka-agree-han na we wanted to increase access to the vaccines. At patuloy pa kasing mga may dadating na mga bakuna in the next few weeks, so ii-stagger,” said Dr. Beverly Ho, director of the Health Promotion Bureau at Disease Prevention and Control Bureau of the Department of Health.
“So mayroon tayong first round nitong November 29, 30 at December 1 tapos magkakaroon din po tayo sa December 15 to 17; so dapat reding-ready po tayo … Wala nang dahilan na hindi tayo makahabol na hindi mabakunahan po,” she said in a Laging Handa press briefing on Saturday, Nov. 27.
The NTF and the National Vaccination Operation Center (NVOC) said in a statement that they had to revise the original target of 15 million to 9 million doses for the Nov. 29 to December 1 Bayanihan Bakunavan drive due to the shortage of ancillary supplies such as syringes for the vaccines, particularly for the Pfizer BioNTech vaccines.
-3 million doses target per day-
“From the original plan of administering 15 million Covid-19 doses for the three-day activity, we have decided to administer 9 million jabs. Hence, the daily national throughput target will be 3 million doses,” their statement read.
“As we are finalizing the preparations for this massive movement across the 16 regions outside Metro Manila, there is currently a shortage in ancillary supplies, particularly syringes for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and other logistical challenges,” the statement added.
-Delay in shipment of supplies-
The NTF and the NVOC said the adjustment was made after they consulted local government units about their resources and available logistics.
They said that the “scheduled shipment of the procured supplies (including syringes of the Pfizer vaccines) made through UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) have been delayed due to the current global shortage”
The NTF and the NVOC said that since many of those expected to be vaccinated on the three days of the vaccination campaign are minors, or those aged 12 to 17, they would need enough syringes or supplies for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines—the only jabs authorized for administration to minors.
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines need to be administered using the special 1-milliliter and low dead-volume syringes.
The standard vaccine syringe holds 3 ml.
“We would ideally like to use 1-milliliter and low dead-volume syringes for everyone, but the reality is that there is no supply,” said Michael Ganio, director for pharmacy practice and quality at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, in an article posed by Science.org in March 2021.
“As we know, sufficient ancillary supplies for each of the vaccine brands is essential in the conduct of the National Vaccination Days, as a significant number of those who will be vaccinated will include the younger population or those aged 12 to 17 years old,” the NTF and the NVOC noted in their most recent statement
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are also used as booster shots or doses for the A1 to A3 sector, or the health care workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.
(Eagle News Service)