The Philippines on Friday took delivery of 661,200 more doses of the coronavirus vaccine made by AstraZeneca, Plc. This as the health department announced in its daily bulletin that there are 20,336 new coronavirus cases.
The shipment was paid for by local government units and the private sector, vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said in an interview with the state-run People’s Television Network.
Mr. Galvez said 80% of the new batch of vaccines will be given to local government units, while the remaining 20% will go to the private sector.
Meanwhile, Mr. Galvez said 190,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V (Component 2) may arrive in the country this weekend or early next week.
“This shipment of Sputnik V vaccines shall be used for the second dose,” he said separately in a statement.
The Philippines is also set to take delivery of about one million doses of the single-shot Sputnik V Light, Mr. Galvez said.
More than 14.89 million doses of coronavirus vaccines are expected to arrive in the country in the coming weeks.
The Philippines has received more than 58 million vaccine doses since February.
Authorities on Thursday said more than 40 million coronavirus vaccines had been given as of Sept. 15. About 17.7 million people or 22.91% of the country’s adult population had been fully vaccinated against coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19), they said.
Meanwhile, health authorities on Friday reported 20,336 new coronavirus cases, bringing to 2.32 million the total number of cases since the pandemic started.
The country’s coronavirus death toll rose to 36,328 after 310 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 10,028 to 2.1 million, the Department of Health (DoH) said in a bulletin.
There were 188,108 active cases, 87.6% of which were mild, 8.1% were asymptomatic, 1.3% were severe, 2.49% were moderate, and 0.6% were critical.
The DoH said 53 duplicates were removed from the tally, 41 of which were reclassified as recoveries. It added that 176 recoveries were reclassified as deaths. Four laboratories failed to submit data on Sept. 15.
Meanwhile, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire maintained that there is still not enough evidence to prove that the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin can treat COVID-19 or prevent deaths from the illness.
This, after the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Group asked the Philippine government to adopt the use of ivermectin for COVID-19 patients.
“We reiterated the PSMID (Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Inc.) guidelines which states that based on the current evidence from randomized controlled trials, we do not recommend the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19,” Ms. Vergeire said in a virtual news briefing, noting that the anti-parasitic drug has not been proven to “significantly reduce mortality nor to improve other clinical outcomes.” — Kyle Aristophere Ateinza