Wed, 17 Aug 2022

MANILA - The syringes for the Pfizer coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine procured by the government through the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), will be arriving in tranches starting Thursday, according to the National Vaccine Operations Center (NVOC) and Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje on Wednesday.

In a Laging Handa briefing, Cabotaje said this is part of the 44 million syringes that were ordered three months ago.

The scarcity of Pfizer syringes has earlier pushed the government to reduce its jab target from 15 million doses to 9 million doses for the three-day "Bayanihan, Bakunahan" national Covid-19 vaccination drive from Monday to Wednesday.

Cabotaje said these syringes are supposed deliveries of an initial tranche of 2 million on November 22 and another 2 million on November 29 which did not arrive due to the global shortage of ancillary supplies.

However, Cabotaje clarified the Philippines has only a scarcity of Pfizer syringes, while the supplies for other brands are all available at the vaccination centers.

With this development, Cabotaje vowed to improve the vaccination processes for another round of massive "Bayanihan, Bakunahan" drive slated from December 15 to 17, to reach population protection by next month.

Cabotaje said part of this plan is allowing more walk-in vaccinees to receive their Covid-19 shots.

"No walk-ins should be sent home without being vaccinated," Cabotaje said, reiterating President Rodrigo Duterte's order to accommodate everyone who wishes to avail Covid-19 vaccines at the inoculation sites.

Cabotaje earlier cited that there was an overwhelming response during the first day of the massive vaccination drive, thus, the non-accommodation of walk-in vaccines in some vaccination hubs.

She added that some local government units lacked the capacity to cater to pediatric vaccination, and there was a late submission of vaccination accomplishment reports as the vaccinators are focusing on the massive inoculation activities. (PNA)

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