Daily COVID-19 inoculations in Metro Manila could be ramped up to 120,000 once the Philippines receives a steady supply of vaccines, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Thursday.
MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia said local government units in the capital region have been efficient in rolling out vaccines so far.
“In NCR alone, we can do at least 120,000 vaccinations per day,” he said in a briefing hosted by the Department of Health.
Garcia also expressed confidence that 70% of Metro Manila residents could get their first dose in about four months.
“This is for when we receive the bulk of vaccines because right now, we still need to follow the priority list, meaning ordinary people can’t get vaccinated yet,” he explained in a mix of English and Filipino.
At present, only individuals belonging to the top three priority groups—health workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities—are qualified to receive a COVID-19 vaccine due to the supply shortage.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the vaccination of the general public could begin in late April or early May.
Galvez had also said that the government expects to receive the bulk of vaccines at the second half of the year.
Meanwhile, Garcia said Metro Manila mayors welcomed the decision of the Food and Drug Administration to allow the use of China’s Sinovac jab on senior citizens.
Previously, the Sinovac vaccine was only recommended for clinically healthy individuals aged 18 to 59.
Several local governments had to halt their inoculation of the elderly due to a lack of AstraZeneca vaccines, which is the only other product available in the country for the use of senior citizens.
Over 922,000 individuals have been vaccinated as of April 6.—AOL, GMA News