Manila to halt COVID-19 vaccinations as supply runs out

The COVID-19 immunization drive in Manila hit a snag as the city’s vaccine stockpile has been almost depleted, the city public information office confirmed Tuesday, April 20.

The vaccination schedule on Wednesday, April 21, is limited to bedridden individuals who will be inoculated at home, as city-wide vaccinations have been suspended in the meantime, according to the PIO.

Magpapatuloy [sa] ika-21 ng Abril ang home service COVID-19 vaccination para sa mga bedridden citizen ng lungsod (Home service COVID-19 vaccination continues on April 21 for bedridden citizens) – medical frontliners, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities,” the Manila PIO wrote on its Facebook page.

The local government unit (LGU) has yet to announce exactly how many vaccine doses remain in the city’s hands, but for Tuesday alone, only 19 residents of the Philippine capital had received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Manila PIO chief Julius Leonen assured residents who had received a first dose of the Sinovac vaccine that their second jab has been reserved.

He confirmed that residents jabbed with the Sinovac vaccine will be notified on the schedule of their second dose.

Bale hindi na po gagalawin iyon, nakatabi na ang second dose since may schedule na po iyon (The second dose has been reserved since there are people who are already scheduled to take it),” Leonen told Rappler.

Manila is also among the LGUs waiting for another batch of Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

The national government in mid-March instructed local government units to use all 525,600 Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses as first doses for people falling under top priority groups.

The Department of Health said on April 9 that it received assurance from the World Health Organization that additional AstraZeneca doses supplied by vaccine sharing alliance COVAX will arrive by end-April.

As of April 20, Manila has vaccinated 74,245 residents against COVID-19. Of this number, 3,820 individuals have received a second dose.

Manila is grappling with 7,620 active COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday. – Rappler.com