Vaccine czar and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr has revealed that the Philippines has vaccinated nearly 241,000 of its 1.7 million health workers. 

During the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum, Galvez, who is also in charge of the  National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF), shared that a total of 240,297 medical frontliners have been given the first dose of the vaccine as of yesterday (March 16). 

He shares that they were able to vaccinate a total of 20,233 medical workers on Tuesday alone.

He mentioned that the Philippines is already in the third week of its vaccination program, noting they’re opting to take things “slow” in consideration of the vaccine’s said “adverse effects.”

“Talaga pong medyo binabagalan natin nang kaunti dahil sa mga napag-usapan po natin na mayroon pong mga adverse effects,” he shared. 

Talking about the possible “adverse effects” that people may experience after receiving the vaccine, Galvez assured that it’s within expectation and is “normal.” He adds that out of the vaccinated population, they’ve only recorded 5,000 cases with such effects.

“Ngayon nga po, mayroon po tayong accommodated more or less 5,000 na mga adverse effect, pero mga normal lang po—mga lagnat, parang lalagnatin. Pero normal lang po iyon,” he stressed. 

Galvez says the Philippines has received a total of 1,125,600 COVID-19 vaccine doses, pointing out that “100 percent” of these vaccines have already been deployed nationwide. 

“Ang pagde-deploy po natin ay talagang hanggang Batanes, hanggang Jolo, Basilan. Talagang ginagamit po natin ang mga military aircraft para mai-deploy ang vaccine natin sa mga liblib na lugar,” he said. 

He estimates that vaccinating the rest of the 1.7 million frontline health workers in the country will be achieved by mid-April, adding the Philippines is set to receive  2.3 million COVID-19 vaccine shots sometime this month and the next. 

The vaccine czar says they chose to give priority to the vaccination of frontline medical workers to protect the integrity of the health care system, even more so now as COVID-19 cases spike. 

“Ang atin pong binigyan ng prayoridad ang ating medical workers upang pangalagaan ang integridad ng ating healthcare system lalo na ngayon na tumataas po [ang mga kaso ng mayroong COVID],” he emphasized.

After the vaccination of medical front liners, seniors, indigent residents, and the vulnerable are next to get the vaccine jab, Galvez stated.

Currently, the Philippines is seeing a steady stream of new COVID-19 cases. According to the Department of Health, 4,387 new cases have been recorded today (March 17), bringing the total tally of active cases in the country to 61,733. 

You can view the latest tally of COVID -19 cases from DOH below. 

Ngayong 4 PM, Marso 17, 2021, ang Department of Health ay nakapagtala ng 4,387 na karagdagang kaso ng COVID-19….

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Wednesday, March 17, 2021

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