(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Thursday, 09 December 2021) Shear Line affecting the eastern section of Visayas. Northeast Monsoon affecting Luzon. Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte will have Cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms due to Shear Line. Possible landslide during heavy to at time intense rain. Agusan del Norte ug Surigao del Sur will have cloudy skies with scattered raishower and thunderstorm due to shearline. Possible flashflood or lanslide during moderate to at time heavy rain.The rest of Mindanao will have partly cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorm due to Localized thunderstorm. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorm The eastern section of Mindanao will have Moderate to Strong winds coming from Northeast to Northwest with Moderate to Rough coastal waters (1.2 to 4.0 meters). While the rest of Mindanao will have Light to Moderate winds coming from Northeast to Northwest with Slight to Moderate coastal waters / (0.6 to 2.5 meters)./span>



Sunday, January 31, 2021


STATEMENT OF NATIONAL TASK FORCE AGAINST COVID-19 CHIEF IMPLEMENTER AND VACCINE CZAR SECRETARY CARLITO GALVEZ JR. ON THE DELIVERY OF VACCINES FROM COVAX FACILITY THIS FIRST QUARTER

We are pleased to report that at least 5.6-million vaccine doses produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca are expected to arrive in the country within the first quarter of this year to jumpstart the country’s national vaccination program as part of the global efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Today, we received a letter from Aurélia Nguyen, managing director of the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, officially informing the Philippine government that the country stands to receive a total of 9,407,400 doses from the two pharmaceutical makers within the projected first and second quarters of this year. 

With the country demonstrating its preparedness to receive the vaccines, the regional review committees from the WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi have granted us two vaccine brands that have been “authorized or very close to being authorized by WHO through an Emergency Use Listing (EUL)," according to the letter.

In its letter, the COVAX Facility said the Philippines will receive 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. These are expected to be delivered in mid-February and will cover the first quarter supply commitment. Delivery confirmation of the supplies for the succeeding quarters will be announced later.  

Likewise, the country will receive 5,500,800 to 9,290,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines. As the company awaits the issuance of its EUL, the “indicative” numbers of doses reflect only the supply for the first two quarters of 2021. The initial delivery is scheduled by mid to late February as stated in the letter.

I would like to emphasize that according to COVAX the number of doses and the projected arrival of the vaccines are all indicative since it all depends on the global supply. 

The Philippine Government through its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has earlier granted both Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA), which means that these vaccines can be safely administered once they become available. 

Over the past week, we have been visiting cities in Metro Manila to monitor the ongoing preparations being carried out by our local government units (LGUs) and the private sector for the arrival of the vaccines, specifically the crafting of their respective local vaccine implementation plans. 

We are scheduled to visit other areas across the country in the coming weeks, especially now that the Philippine National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for COVID-19 vaccines has been finally approved for immediate implementation.  

Based on our visits, we have seen that many LGUs and the private sector are now ready for the vaccine roll-out –  from their vaccination sites, to their cold storage equipment and facilities, to their personnel. We hope that these kinds of preparations will be replicated nationwide. 
 
These latest developments came a year since the country declared its first confirmed COVID-19 case. We were all clueless then on how to effectively manage and mitigate the impact of this infectious disease. But with the arrival of vaccines and the implementation of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19, we are now in a better position to put an end to the epidemic. 

Indeed, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. 

We assure the Filipino people that under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, your government will secure the targeted 148 million doses of safe, effective, and free vaccines to inoculate 70 million people by 2021 and realize our nation’s goal of achieving herd immunity within this year. 

We would therefore like to urge all Filipinos to set their fears aside and have themselves inoculated once these vaccines are available. Again, we would like to assure our countrymen that all the vaccines the government will be administering must pass the stringent selection and evaluation process of the Vaccine Expert Panel, FDA, and the Department of Health. 

With the vaccine providing us an extra layer of protection, we must also push for “vaccine plus” or the strict observance of minimum health standards – the wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, and practicing proper hygiene. This remains the most effective way to curb the spread of the virus and put an end to this pandemic. 

We are confident that with the whole nation working together, we will be able to recover our economy and bring back a greater sense of normalcy among our people.

The arrival of these COVAX vaccines is a welcome development as we await the vaccines that we have negotiated, which are expected to be delivered in the succeeding second, third, and fourth quarters of this year.

The vaccines under COVAX can now inoculate our healthcare workers, medical-related personnel, and other frontliners. These all fall under the guidance of President Duterte to preserve the healthcare system and major institutions of the country.

This positive news is a testament that under the COVAX facility, it ensures equitable distributions of vaccines throughout the globe, which bodes well with the Duterte’s administration principle of “Walang maiiwan, walang iwanan” (No one will be left behind). 

“We must work together to ensure that all nations - rich or poor - will have access to safe vaccines. No one is safe until all of us are safe,” as what the President has said.