Right now, it looks like we won’t be getting the vaccines we need to inoculate even 10 percent of our population or 10 million this year. We have to rationally determine, and decide very soon, how to allocate the vaccines that will be available.
The biggest chunk of vaccines will come from China, with which we have a firm order of 25 million, with 1 million given as donation to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The US and the West have hoarded as much of the vaccines as they can and will decide only later if they would be kind enough to allow poorer nations to get these life-saving dosages.
According to Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, other vaccines to be delivered by June are 2 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V, 1.3 million of AstraZeneca (from the Covax Alliance) and 194,000 of Moderna. Rollout of Sputnik and Moderna will not be as fast as Sinovac as they require special below-zero degrees storage, which is not easy to install or may even be available.
We have to face the harsh reality of deciding how best to allocate the vaccines that would be available. At present, the vaccination priority are frontline health workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), persons with co-morbidities (A3), frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel (A4) and “indigent” population (A4), which, however, is vaguely defined.
Priority B are teachers and social workers, “other government” workers, “other essential workers,” those with a “significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and poor population, overseas Filipino workers, and finally “other remaining workforce.” (more…)