94% of bivalent Covid-19 vax administered

About 94 percent of the 390,000 doses of the bivalent vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 donated by the Lithuanian government have been administered. "So maganda yung rollout, hindi tayo na expire-an (We had a good rollout, and the vaccines are not yet expired)," Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa told reporters on Monday at the sidelines of the national launch for the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2023-2028. "I'm waiting for the new one eh 'yun monovalent XBB which is proposed to be better than the bivalent, so tignan natin kung ano ang makukuha natin (so we will see what we can get)." The COVAX Facility, a worldwide initiative which aims to provide equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, still has a standing offer of 2 million doses of bivalent vaccines to the country. "We're requesting less than 2 million kasi baka ma-expire, maiksi ang shelf life eh, so we know the rate, from how we consume it, so 'yung tama lang hihingin natin (because the vaccines might expire, they have short shelf life, so we know the rate from how we consume it so we'll just request for the right amount)," Herbosa said. The Department of Health started the administration of bivalent jabs as third booster dose to healthcare workers and the senior citizens on June 21. Later on, the agency allowed healthcare workers, senior citizens and the immunocompromised to receive them as first and second booster doses to fast-track the rollout. When asked about the reason for the slow vaccination uptick, Herbosa said the issue is not exclusive to the Philippines. "I think generally even in other countries, kaya nagkaka-donation tayo, hindi na ganoon katakot sa Covid ang mga tao kasi the Omicron variants that are later are milder for normal individuals like you and me, but for may mga sakit siyempre kelangan nila ng bakuna (we receive donations as people are not that scared of Covid anymore because the later Omicron variants are milder for normal individuals like you and me, but for those who are sick, they need vaccines)," he said. At least 78,443,972 or 100.4 percent of the country's target population (78,100,578) have been vaccinated against Covid-19, including 82.16 percent of 8,721,357 senior citizens, as of March 19. A total of 23,811,248 have received booster shots out of the fully vaccinated population

Source: Philippines News Agency