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Fri. Jun 18th, 2021

A Sliver of Sanity Sweeps across the Archipelago

“Pandemic fatigue.” It’s a condition perhaps suffered by people all across the planet. Aren’t many of us tired of hearing the same old phrases? “Social distancing.” “Wear your mask.” “Wash your hands.” Frankly, I am. The Philippines’ first coronavirus case was a little over a year ago. January 30, 2020. Since mid-March 2020, the Philippines has been under one of the longest, strictest lockdowns in the world. “VACCINE ARRIVALS PROVIDE GLIMMER OF HOPE FOR PHILIPPINES,” has me donning my “rose-colored” glasses.

“VACCINE ARRIVALS PROVIDE GLIMMER OF HOPE FOR PHILIPPINES”

First of all, the Philippine government has a deployment and vaccination plan to end COVID-19 already in place. In addition, once the first batch of vaccines arrives later this month, February, vaccinations will begin two to three days later.

That’s close enough for government work, especially in a country known for “Filipino Time.”

A Sliver of Sanity Sweeps across the Archipelago

Furthermore, Filipino economist Karl Kendrick Chua is optimistic that quarantine restrictions could be relaxed in March. Chua is the Acting Secretary for Socioeconomic Planning. In addition, he’s the Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority of the Philippines (NEDA.) The man has authority.

Chua notes that the economy cannot take a reversal to stricter quarantine measures.

Moreover, the Philippines has increased its COVID-19 vaccine orders to 178 million doses. That’s enough for 92 million citizens. That’s according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. The Secretary vows all Filipinos will receive the vaccine. (OK, reality check, I’m not the only one wearing rose-colored glasses.)

CNN Philippines reports the government initially planned to vaccinate more than 70 million adult Filipinos for its immunization drive. The government sought to secure 148 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.

However, the government is buying more shots. The EU’s fight with AstraZeneca over production shortages of its COVID-19 vaccine prompted the Philippine government’s move.

“So to be safe, we have, we are negotiating more, more than what we need of 70 million,” Dominguez said.

The government will buy vaccines from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Sinovac.

(Sinovac is a Chinese vaccine. A recent report on “The Big Story” on ONE News revealed that only 18% of Filipinos trust a Chinese vaccine. In contrast, 75% of Filipinos trust vaccines from the United States and Europe.)

Furthermore, some of the vaccines need to be administered in two doses. Others are single-shot jabs.

The Philippines is launching its vaccination program this month. It expects to receive an initial 3 million doses for the rollout according to the Inquirer.net.

Who Will Get the Vaccines First?

Philippine Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr reports the order in which the vaccines will be distributed.

  • First quarter vaccines will go to 1.7 million to 2 million health-care workers.
  • Also vaccinated in the first quarter are vulnerable groups and government front-line workers, such as vaccinators, police, and soldiers.
  • Second quarter vaccines will go to the indigent population and workers in food production and public transportation.
  • Third quarter vaccines will go to priority essential workers, priority geographic areas, and poor communities.
  • The remaining population will be receive their shots in the fourth quarter. This is when the government expects to complete the immunization of 50 million to 70 million Filipinos.

Thus, here’s hoping that the Philippine vaccination program runs smoothly. Perhaps an end to the quarantines is in sight. Hopefully, the ban on foreign travelers will end.

It’s a sliver of sanity.

A glimmer of hope that flickers.

By The Kano

POST AUTHOR: "THE KANO." Dave DeWall, "The Kano", is the Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of "Philippines Plus" in publication since August 2009. He is also the CEO of Lizard Poop Productions and author of the best-selling guide book "The Philippines Expat Advisor." Dave moved to the Philippines in July 2009 from Central Illinois with his lovely wife of over 21 years, "The Sainted Patient Wife." The couple reside in a rural province in Western Visayas, Guimaras. The small island province is said to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. They do not have any children but are the proud owners of eight active canines, including a Belgian Malinois called "Killer" "Killer" has bitten five people over the years along with one goat and a carabao. "Killer" doesn't like strangers. Or goats. Or carabaos.

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