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18.2M Filipinos fully vaccinated against COVID-19 —DOH exec

Over 18 million Filipinos have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 since the national inoculation program started on March 1, a Department of Health official said Sunday.

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje on On Dobol B TV  said the Philippines has administered nearly 41 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccines based on the September 18, 2021 record. 

As for vaccine supply, the country has so far received over 59 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from several international manufacturers, she added.

"Sa 40.9 million, 22.6 million sa first dose at 18.2 million sa complete dose" (Of the 40.9 million vaccinated, 22.6M got the first dose, and 18.2M got the complete dose), said Cabotaje.

Sputnik V second dose

Despite the delay in Sputnik V's delivery of second dose shots, Cabotaje said the vaccine can still be administered to those who received the first shot.

On Saturday, the Philippines received 190,000 doses of Sputnik V.

Unlike other COVID-19 vaccine brands, Russia's Gamaleya Institute jab has different components for the first and second doses.

"Ang nasa EUA (ng Sputnik V) from 12 to 40 days. 'Yung iba medyo lumampas na pero experts are saying puwede pa 'yan. Mataas naman ang efficacy rate ng Sputnik component one," she said.

(The EUA for Sputnik V is from 12 to 40 days. There is already a lapse, but some experts are saying that the second dose can still be administered as the vaccine's first dose efficacy rate is still high.)

More J&J doses

Cabotaje said they are seeking an increase in supply of one-dose Johnson&Johnson vaccine from the COVAX facility because senior citizens, the most vulnerable group, prefer the jab.

"Kung puwede sa susunod na delivery, kasi may 14 million doses pa, baka puwedeng magbigay ulit ang J&J" (If possible in the next delivery,  maybe we can get more again, as we still have 14 million doses of J&J's vaccine), Cabotaje said.

Further, she said that the J&J shots can also be administered for Muslim communities, who are "[nomadic] in nature."

"Lalo na sa mga kapatid na Muslim. 'Yung mga Badjao, na maaaring hindi natin mahahagilap for the second dose, kasi nga yung [nomadic] nature nila," said Cabotaje.

(Especially to our Muslim communities. Badjaos might not be tracked again for second dose because they are always moving from place to place.)

By the end of 2021, Cabotaje said they expect to receive up to 195 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccines. —LBG, GMA News