The government will donate two million doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to Myanmar by the end of June or the first week of July, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.
National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) chairperson Dr. Myrna Cabotaje, during the Laging Handa briefing, said that arrangements are currently being undertaken to facilitate the contribution to the Myanmar Red Cross.
“We are negotiating with Myanmar…ang hirap ng proseso (the process is
difficult). We are awaiting the concurrence of the government of Myanmar kasi ang pagbibigyan natin ay Red Cross ng Myanmar (because we
will give it to the Myanmar Red Cross). Hopefully, maibigay natin (we can give them) by the end of the month or first week of July,” she said.
Earlier, National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa said that approximately three million COVID-19 vaccine doses would be donated to other Southeast Asian countries like Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.
Cabotaje stressed that there will be an adequate vaccine supply for the Philippines to last until the end of the year.
However, the government will stop the purchase of vaccines until the COVID-19 immunization is made available for children under the age of 5, she added.
“May dadating pa na COVAX donations. So, hindi po bibili ang gobyerno ng bagong mga vaccines, unless mag-open na ‘yung below five years old dahil may special formulation ‘yan (There will be more COVAX donations that will arrive. The government will not procure new vaccines unless we expand the vaccination to those under five years old as there is a special formulation for them.),” she said.
“Sa ngayon, sapat ang ating bakuna, ang importante ay maiturok siya (Right now, we have enough vaccines. What’s important is to administer them to the people.),” she added.
At least 70 million individuals are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country.
Booster uptake still remains a challenge, with only 14.8 million Filipinos receiving their first booster dose and at least 648,000 for their second booster dose.