More NCR cities halt second-dose Sinovac vaccinations amid supply shortage

Caloocan and Las Piñas on Tuesday, July 13, joined the growing list of local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila that have temporarily halted their second-dose Sinovac vaccinations after they ran out of supply from the national government.

In an advisory, the city government of Caloocan said those who were scheduled to be administered with a second dose of the Sinovac vaccine beginning Wednesday, July 14, will have to wait until further notice.

“Kasalukuyan po nating hinihintay ang karagdagang supply ng Sinovac matapos magkaroon ng pagkaantala sa pagdating nito sa ating bansa,” the LGU said.

(We are currently waiting for more Sinovac vaccine supply following a delay on its arrival in the Philippines.)

The city government of Las Piñas also gave the same reason when it issued a similar advisory the same day.

“Kami po ay humihingi ng pang-unawa at abangan lamang po ang susunod na anunsyo ukol sa pagkakaroon ng bakunang Sinovac,” it said.

(We are asking for your understanding. Please wait for the announcement on the availability of Sinovac jabs.)

Other LGUs that took a pause in their second-dose Sinovac inoculations include Malabon, Muntinlupa, Taguig, and Valenzuela.

The health department (DOH) has said first-dose recipients of the Sinovac vaccine may get their second shot within six months.

Some 2.5 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine are scheduled to arrive in the Philippines on Wednesday, July 14.

As part of the government's strategy, Metro Manila secures the highest share of COVID-19 vaccines among regions, after the urban sprawl that is home to over 13 million people repeatedly became a hotspot for coronavirus infections.

But LGUs in the metropolis have continued to struggle keeping the momentum due to the national government’s failure to replenish their vaccine stockpiles. 

Many cities in the capital region halted first-dose inoculations in early July due to supply issues, resuming only by the second week of the month after receiving a shipment of over one million AstraZeneca doses from Japan on Thursday, July 8.

The DOH has acknowledged that vaccine supply remains an issue for the national government.

As of July 11, 3.5 million people in the Philippines were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, out of the 9.6 million who have received their first dose. – Rappler.com