Be patient amid some delays in vaccine arrival, Carlito Galvez Jr. urges public

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Friday called on the public to be patient amid some delays on vaccine arrival due to limited global supply and other variables. "Ang ina-advise po namin sa ating kababayan ay sana konting pasensya pa," Galvez made this remark during the Covid-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (C.O.D.E.) Team visit to Pateros town. 

 "Ongoing pa rin po ang negotiation natin sa COVAX and we are hopeful that they will fulfill their commitment to bring us the 44 million doses here in the first and second quarter," he added. He said the government is eyeing at least 5 to 9 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine produced by the AstraZeneca and Pfizer company through the COVAX facility, within the first quarter of this year. Galvez cited the very challenging situations to access the global supply and demand of Covid-19 vaccines which are also being confronted by many countries worldwide. "Napakahirap ng sitwasyon in terms of global supply and demand -- hindi lang tayo ang nahihirapan -- sa pagbili ng bakuna, kundi pati na rin ang ibang bansa," he said. He then pointed out that some 130 countries, 32 of them at risk during the pandemic, have not yet received any brand of Covid-19 vaccines. 

"Considering that they are one of those poorest of the poor," he said. Galvez said various variables affect the procurement and the arrival of the coronavirus jabs, including "uneven" distributions of vaccines globally, as well as geopolitics among countries. 

 He also asked the local government units (LGUs) for more patience, particularly in Metro Manila. "Yun lang po ang hinihingi natin sa ating Metro Manila mayors, alam ko sabik na sabik na po kayo sa bakuna at minsan ako po'y nahihiya na dahil sabi nga bakuna na lang ang kulang The government, he said, is preparing for a "measured and calibrated" vaccination program. Originally, some 117,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines were scheduled to arrive this month and meant to use for the inoculation of health care workers.

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