Duterte OKs use of 525,600 AstraZeneca vaccines as first dose for health workers
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation to use all currently available AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in the country as the first doses for healthcare workers amid the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
This means the Philippines will use all the available 525,600 AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility as first doses instead of setting aside some doses for the second shots.
“Please be informed that the President has approved the request to utilize all on-hand COVAX-donated AstraZeneca doses as first dose vaccination in order to protect a larger number of frontline healthcare workers in areas with seen increased transmission,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced in a Palace briefing on Friday, reading a memorandum issued by the Executive Secretary.
Malacañang has yet to provide a copy of the memorandum to the media.
The Philippines has already started administering AstraZeneca vaccines after their doses arrived early this March. It is administered in two doses, with the interval between doses at 12 weeks or 3 months.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier recommended that all the 525,600 AstraZeneca doses be given as first doses to healthcare workers.
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