Galvez: PH needs additional 42.6 million COVID-19 vaccines to fill demand

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 29) — The government still needs 42.6 million COVID-19 shots to address the supply and demand gap, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

Kung makikita po natin, malaki po talaga iyong gap… mayroon po tayong gap na 42.6 million between supply and demand,” Galvez said during President Rodrigo Duterte’s weekly address, noting that they are expecting to meet demand over supply by October.

[Translation: As we can see, there is a big gap... we have a 42.6 million gap between supply and demand.]

Galvez explained that around 70.8 million is the projected number of Filipinos eligible for vaccination. Of this, around 59.92 million belong to the targeted population, or those from A1 to A5 priority groups.

However, the government has so far only received over 31 million vaccine doses, which translate to two doses for 17.3 million persons. This already includes more than 3 million shots of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“Although malaki ang deliveries natin, in reality, kung i-open up natin mula A1 to A5 kulang na kulang po tayo ng vaccines in terms of actual doses,” Galvez said. “Humihingi po tayo ng patience sa mga LGUs at tsaka sa mga provincial governors and cities na talagang kulang pa iyong… ating mga vaccines.”

[Translation: Although we have big deliveries, in reality if we open up A1 to A5 groups, vaccine supply it is still not enough in terms of actual doses. We are asking for patience from LGUs and provincial governors and cities since vaccine supply is very limited.]

He added that this is why the Department of Health and the government’s pandemic task force have recommended to focus on A1 to A3 groups, which include health workers, elderly and people with comorbidity to achieve population protection by shielding these vulnerable sectors.

As of July 27, a total of 18,174,405 doses have already been administered. Of this, more than 6.8 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated, government data shows.