AN ADDITIONAL 105,300 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Davao City on Friday morning, June 11, 2021.
The newly-arrived Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer are on top of the initial 105,300 doses still from Pfizer that arrived on Thursday morning, June 10, and 29,250 doses on May 15, bringing the total to 239,850 doses.
Dr. Abdullah Dumama Jr., Department of Health (DOH) undersecretary for the Visayas and Mindanao field implementation and coordination team, led the acceptance ceremony at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport).
Dumama said the delivery of these vaccines is a manifestation of the global effort to end the pandemic.
The arrival of the additional vaccines in the city came after the Philippines received 2.2 million doses, the largest delivery of Pfizer to the country, on Thursday evening, June 10, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The recent arrival of Covid-19 vaccines in the country is the fifth shipment of Covax-sourced vaccines to the Philippines, among the first countries to receive Covax-19 vaccines through Covax. In total, Covax will provide 44 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines, enabling it to vaccinate one in five Filipinos.
United States (US) Embassy representative Chris Farlow, representing the US government, said this is not the first and the last delivery of Pfizer vaccines in the city.
"In this critical moment in Davao's battle against Covid[-19] pandemic, it is my sincere hope that these vaccines donated by the United States, and with the help of all of the countries that donated to the Covax facility will help turn the tide against this virus that is so devastating, and has devastated this community and communities all over the world," Farlow said.
He added this is not the first and the last delivery of Pfizer vaccines in the city.
City Health Office (CHO) Acting Head Dr. Ashley Lopez, who was present during the ceremony, thanked the national government for allocating 210,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines to the city.
Lopez said the delivery will already allow the LGU to extend the vaccination to A4 priority group or the frontline personnel in essential sectors.
The city government has been vaccinating the first three priority groups - A1 (medical frontliners), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities).
"The arrival of these vaccines will ensure that most number of Dabawenyos will be vaccinated at the soonest possible time, leading us to a faster vaccine rollout to the rest of the community, so that we may eventually achieve herd immunity from the disease, and in turn, contribute to an easier and smoother transmission, and adjustment to the new normal," Lopez said.
The newly-arrived vaccines will be solely allocated to Davao City due to its capacity to store the vaccine's temperature requirement, which needs to be stored at an ultra-low storage facility.
“Hindi pa natin siya ma-distribute sa field or sa mga provinces kasi wala pa silang (We still cannot distribute it to the field or to other provinces because they do not have) ultra low freezer sa kanilang kanya-kanyang probinsya (within their respective provinces),” DOH-Davao Director Annabelle Yumang said in a virtual presser on Thursday, June 10.
Yumang said DOH is already working on the procurement of ultra-low storage facilities to other provinces.
According to Pfizer, test results show its coronavirus vaccine is 95-percent effective, safe and also protects older people most at risk of dying.