Editorial: Here's to better days ahead

WHILE 2020 was a rough year, we slowly got our bearings starting adapting to and living with the pandemic. Yet, many of us remain hopeful that the pandemic would end so that we can go back to what we knew was normal. This means gathering together, traveling without worries, or simply going out without having to wear a face mask.

As the vaccination across the country kicks off, we are hopeful of better days ahead.

This week was generally filled with good news.

On March 2, the first batch of Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine, CoronaVac, arrived in Davao City. This batch includes 12,000 doses of the vaccine.

On March 4, an additional 21,600 doses of CoronaVac arrived in Davao Region.

With the additional doses, Department of Health (DOH) Davao Director Annabelle Yumang said they have increased the number of expected medical frontliners to be inoculated with the vaccine. Starting on March 5, around 16,600 front liners will be inoculated with the vaccine.

Also on the same day, 487,200 doses of Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca arrived in the Philippines at around 7:10 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. In a SunStar Philippines report, this is the first batch of the 4.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines that the Philippines is programmed to receive under the first round of Covax allocations.

Through Covax, the Philippines has been allocated 4.584 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines and 117,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Meanwhile, in a social media post by the President Communication Operations Office (PCOO) on February 16, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines has enough doses to vaccinate around 70 million adult Filipinos by the end of the year.

Based on the list provided, the Philippines is expected to receive:

* 44 million doses through the Covax Facility starting February with 4.7 million doses to be delivered in the first round of allocations

* 25 million doses of Sinovac's CoronaVac starting February

* 10 to 15 million doses of Gamaleya's Sputnik V starting April

* 30 million doses of Novovax's vaccine starting May

* 17 million doses of Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca starting May

* 20 million doses of Moderna's vaccine starting July

* 15 million doses of Pfizer's vaccine starting August but as of February 16, this is still under negotiations

* Five million doses of Johnson&Johnson's single-dose vaccines starting October

Despite the controversies prior to its arrival, the Covid-19 vaccines arriving in the country also bring hope for better days.

Of course, while we wait for the target population to be inoculated with the vaccine, let us continue to follow strictly the minimum health protocols. The vaccination program and compliance to health protocols will help control and manage the spread of the Covid-19.

We are optimistic that the coming days and months will be better. Let's do our part and support in any way we can to put an end to this pandemic.


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