Philippines orders 40m vaccine doses

18 May 2021

In order to continue battling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, 40 million coronavirus vaccine doses from Pfizer were ordered by the Philippines. The South-East Asian country recently reported the first "double mutant" coronavirus variant. 

Leading the nation's vaccination programme is Mr Carlito Galvez, who confirmed that the term sheet for the order has been signed on Monday. The Philippines, currently in a recession, is hoping to achieve herd immunity this year to boost its economy and help it recover. 

In addition, the country is now looking to recruit 50,000 health workers to administer shots. This was confirmed by Galavez, who attended a briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte. In order to speed up the vaccination process, Galavez suggested that midwives, pharmacists, paramedics and medical students could be hired to administer the 200 million vaccine doses when they arrive.

The nation faced an increase in cases in mid-March, and the doctors and nurses are still treating COVID-19 patients in hospitals. Vaccines are said to start being administered this month. 

At the start of the week, 5,979 new virus cases were reported in the Philippines. It has the second highest number of cases in South-east Asia with 1.15 million. Indonesia has 1.74 million cases.