Only days into rollout, Metro Manila LGUs exhaust Pfizer vaccine supply

Some city governments in Metro Manila took less than a week to administer all of their first-dose supply of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer BioNTech.

San Juan, for instance, ran out of supply on Tuesday, May 18. The city was among the first local government units (LGUs) to begin the rollout of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines on May 12, after receiving a total of 11,700 doses from the national government on May 11.

“The first-dose inoculations of the Pfizer vaccine were finished today. We received 11,700 total first and second doses, meant for 5,850 individuals. The vaccinations were fast,” San Juan Mayor Zamora told Rappler in a mix of English and Filipino on Tuesday.

Muntinlupa was another city that wiped out its supply of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine first doses as of May 18.

“Reaching the target number of residents from priority groups and due to the sensitive cold-chain management, the local government of Muntinlupa [ended] its rollout for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines,” the city public information office said in a statement on Tuesday.

The city inoculated 3,510 individuals with the Pfizer vaccine. Some 3,510 second-dose shots have also been reserved for the recipients.

The city of Manila, which had to grapple with the problem of hundreds of people lining up for Pfizer vaccine shots on Tuesday, no longer posted a vaccination schedule for the brand on Wednesday.

Manila only received some 7,000 Pfizer vaccine doses from the national government on May 11.

The Philippines' supply of Pfizer vaccine came from the global vaccine sharing alliance COVAX facility. The country received 193,050 Pfizer doses on May 10 following months of delay.

Filipinos initially expected the arrival of 117,000 Pfizer doses in February, but the lack of an indemnification law, among other things, hampered the country's access to the vaccine brand.

As of May 15, over 2.2 million Filipinos have received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot, according to the Department of Health. –