COVID-19 vaccines

Rollout of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines begins in the Philippines

Dwight de Leon
Rollout of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines begins in the Philippines

ROLLOUT BEGINS. Makati starts administering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to residents on May 12, 2021.

Rappler photo

San Juan and Makati are among the first cities to use the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses in their immunization drive

The Philippines began administering COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech to qualified recipients on Wednesday, May 12, two days after the shipment supplied by global vaccine sharing alliance COVAX facility arrived in the Philippines.

San Juan and Makati were among the first local government units to kick off vaccinations using the jabs from Pfizer on Wednesday.

The two cities received 11,700 and 5,800 vaccine doses on Tuesday, respectively.

San Juan used a rented ultra-cold freezer to store the vaccines between negative-80 to negative-60 degrees Celsius. 

San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora said medical workers are still adjusting in administering the Pfizer vaccines.

Ngayong araw, ang scheduled ay 1,500. We can increase in the next few days kasi nagpa-practice pa lang tayo ng Pfizer,” he told reporters during Wednesday’s vaccination drive at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

(The number of scheduled recipients for Wednesday is 1,500. We can increase the number in the next few days because our medical workers are still adjusting in administering a Pfizer vaccine shot.)

Kapag medyo mas sanay na ang ating medical staff sa pagtitimpla at handling, madadagdagan pa natin ang capacity natin araw-araw,” Zamora said.

(Once our medical workers have fully adjusted in the handling of the Pfizer vaccine doses, we will be able to increase daily capacity.)

Other cities have yet to announce when to begin administering the Pfizer vaccine doses.

The arrival on Monday of 193,050 Pfizer doses in the country followed 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.

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As of May 8, nearly two million Filipinos have received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot, according to the Department of Health. – Rappler.com

Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers local government units and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.