3.2M J&J vaccines arriving this month, says Health agency

THE PHILIPPINES will take delivery this month of about 3.2 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., according to the Health department.

The Janssen vaccines that will arrive on July 19 were donated by the United States through a global initiative for equal access, Health Undersecretary Myrna C. Cabotaje told a televised news briefing on Monday.

The shipment is part of the 16 million vaccine doses that will arrive this month, she said.

Ms. Cabotaje said the vaccines would be used for the inoculation of senior citizens and people in far flung areas.

The single-dose shot is recommended for people aged 18 years and older, according to the local Food and Drug Administration. It does not need to be stored under ultra-low temperatures.

Janssen on July 1 said its vaccine had shown “strong, persistent activity” against more contagious coronavirus variants including the Delta one that started in India.

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 5,204 coronavirus infections on Monday, bringing the total to 1.48 million.

The death toll rose to 26,015 after 100 more patients died, while recoveries increased by 5,811 to 1.4 million, it said in a bulletin.

There were 49,128 active cases, 89.6% of which were classified as mild, 4.7% were asymptomatic, 2.5% were severe, 1.72% were moderate and 1.5% were critical.

The agency said 12 duplicates had been removed from the tally, nine of which were tagged as recoveries. It said 156 cases had been tagged as duplicates — 150 recoveries and six deaths.

The agency said 75 recoveries had been reclassified as active cases. Sixty-two recoveries were reclassified as deaths. Eight laboratories failed to submit data on July 10.

Of the three million AstraZeneca vaccine doses that arrived last week, about a million doses donated by Japan would be used in the capital region and nearby provinces, Ms. Cabotaje said. Half-a-million doses will be used nationwide. —

Vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. had ordered that vaccines be given out in virus-hit and far-flung provinces in southern Philippines, including Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, she said.

Of the 13 million people vaccinated against the coronavirus, 3.52 million had been fully vaccinated, Ms. Cabotaje said.

The Philippines has ordered about 89 million coronavirus vaccines worth $1 billion, presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. told a televised news briefing.

About $400 million were already paid for through the national budget and loans from multilateral financial institutions, he told a separate televised news briefing.

Meanwhile, more Filipinos are willing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to a Pulse Asia poll from June 7 to 6. It said 43% of Filipinos were inclined to get inoculated.

In a statement, Pulse Asia said 36% of Filipinos were still hesitant to get vaccinated, while 16% were undecided.

The polling firm interviewed 2,400 adult Filipinos for the poll, which had an error margin of ±2 points. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza