The Philippines on Wednesday received its fourth batch of government-procured Pfizer vaccines containing 365,040 doses, the National Task Force on COVID-19 said.
Cebu City received 51,480 doses at around 6:35 p.m., and another 51,480 doses will be delivered to Davao City on Thursday. Metro Manila and other areas that have not received Pfizer jabs will receive 262,080 doses which are temporarily stored at the PharmaServ Express’ cold-chain facility in Marikina City.
The country has fully vaccinated 12.5 million people so far, compared to the target of at least 50 million this year for what it calls "population protection" against the virus. It has so far received 42.9 million doses.
“Karamihan dito ‘yung bibigyan natin are those areas na hindi pa nabibigyan ng Pfizer and trying to rollout to them,” vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez said.
“So that in the future, once the deliveries of Pfizer will pick up, [local government units] are well aware and they are already well-trained on how to handle the sensitivities of Pfizer,” he added
Its sensitivity to temperature complicates logistics. Pfizer vials must be stored upright in a tray and protected from light. Prior to mixing, the vaccine must be stored in an ultra-cold freezer between -80°C and -60°C, according to the Centers for Disease and Control Protection.
The Philippines has so far received 2,116,530 Pfizer doses purchased by the government and has received 2,472,210 doses donated from the COVAX facility.