Filtered By: Topstories

NTF eyes using pharmacies, drugstores as vaccination sites —adviser

NTF eyes using pharmacies, drugstores as vaccination sites —adviser

National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 medical adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa on Sunday said they are in talks with private pharmacies and drugstores to allow them to administer vaccines amid the COVID-19 surge which is believed to be caused by the Omicron variant. 

“Nakipag-usap ang National Task Force last week sa ating private mga botika at pharmacies. Magkakaroon tayo ng parang trial na isu-supply ang bakuna [sa kanila],” he said during a Super Radyo dzBB interview, allaying concerns over lack of vaccinators in several vaccination centers.

(The NTF met with private drugstores and pharmacies last week. We will have some sort of trial wherein we will supply vaccines to them.)

Herbosa explained that since many healthcare workers in hospitals are getting infected with COVID-19, several vaccinators had to go back and help in hospitals.

At the Philippine General Hospital alone, at least 1,100 healthcare workers have been infected with COVID-19 since the start of 2022.

The government is then looking for alternatives to continue the vaccination in the country despite the lack of vaccinators and increasing COVID-19 cases to accommodate those who have yet to receive their primary jab doses or booster shots.

One of the solutions they considered is tapping the private sector.

“‘Yun ang naging solusyon natin diyan sa pagkonti ng mga vaccinators. Sabi namin, baka willing naman ang private sector. At totoo naman, may mga drugstore brand—hindi ko naman masabi ang pangalan kasi private—sila ay willing maging vaccine sites,” he added.

(That became our solution to the lack of vaccinators. We wondered if the private sector is willing to cooperate as vaccination sites. And true enough, they are. I just couldn’t disclose the names because they are private.)

Based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) national COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 58,765,384 individuals have already received their first dose against COVID-19 as of Saturday.

Of this number, 55,093,311 have completed their doses, while 4,765,771 have received their booster shots after reaching the three to six-month requirement.

Herbosa said there is enough vaccine supply in the country, noting that a total of 210 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arrived in the Philippines as of December 2021.

“Ang naiturok natin, ‘yung kalahati, 110 million. So parang meron tayo sa supply natin na about 90 million, so good for about 50 million people,” he added.

The government is eyeing to start the inoculation among minors aged 5 to 11 years old against COVID-19 in the first week of February.

At least 50 million more doses of Pfizer vaccine purchased by the government will arrive in late January to inoculate this age group.

The DOH on Saturday recorded another record-high 39,004 COVID-19 infections, bringing the country’s caseload to 3,168,379. —KG, GMA News