MANILA — National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 spokesperson Restituto Padilla has told GMA News’ Dobol B TV the government is eyeing to keep its target number of vaccinations to reach herd immunity against COVID-19 following complaints about the country’s slow vaccination process. 

“Kung puwede natin magawa one million sa bawat araw. Kasi ang target natin sa isang linggo, hopefully, 5 million inoculations para yung supply na 20 to 25 million sa isang buwan, maubos natin yun,” Padilla said.

Padilla said that some vaccination centers in Metro Manila have suspended walk-in inoculations as some health workers shift to COVID-19 response due to surging cases. 

“Hindi na pwedeng magpa-walk in ng gaya ng dati dahil sa banta ng Delta variant, kasi iniiwasan natin na magkaroon ng super spreader event,” he said.

Supply no longer the problem but availability of manpower 

In a report by GMA NewsNTF consultant Dr. Ted Herbosa said the country’s daily COVID-19 vaccinations has decreased due to limited manpower. 

“Ang alam namin bumababa yung output namin. Dati nakaka-700,000 injections per day.Bumaba ito sa 300,000. Ngayon, nag-stabilize sa 400,000,” he said.

Herbosa said the government is urging medical students to volunteer in vaccination centers as backed by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Health (DOH).

According to NTF, as of August 22, a total of 30,389,160 doses have been administered in the country. At least 17,258,675 people have received their first dose, while 13,130,485 are already fully vaccinated.

To achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, the government is eyeing to inoculate 58 million people in highly urbanized areas by the end of the year. 

PH will receive 146 million doses more of COVID-19 vaccines before year end 

In another report by GMA NewsDepartment of Finance (DOF) Sec. Carlos Dominguez III told a televised meeting of President Rodrigo Duterte with select Cabinet officials last Thursday, August 26, the total number of vaccine doses secured are enough to vaccinate about 100.5 million Filipinos or over 100 percent of the country’s adult population. 

From March 1 to August 25, Dominguez said that 48.89 million doses from the total number of vaccine doses secured were delivered to the country. 

Dominguez also noted that another 42.11 million doses are due to arrive between August 26 and September 30 and in the last quarter of 2021, with the government expecting to receive an additional 103.59 million doses. 

In sum, 145.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses are expected to arrive in the Philippines towards the end of 2021. 

“So actually, we are expecting roughly 50 million doses a month — from September to December. If that happens, maybe by January we should have been able to inoculate everyone,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez also noted that as of August 26, the national government secured financing for a total of 105.65 million doses funded through loans amounting to $1.126 billion from multilateral development institutions such as the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

“Wala ho tayong problema sa pera, may financing na lahat yan at we don’t have to worry about money here. We have already all the money ready to be paid for these doses,” he said, noting that a total of 48.84 million doses came from donations from the Philippines’ bilateral partners and the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access or COVAX Facility.

Dominguez said the PHP8.42 billion or US$176.5 million allocated for COVID-19 vaccines under the General Appropriations Act allowed the government to procure 15.5 million doses. 

“With the procurements of the LGUs and the private sector supplementing the national   government’s efforts to source COVID-19 vaccines, the Philippines is assured of 194.89 million vaccine doses that are enough to inoculate 100.5 million Filipinos,” he added.