Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 29) – MalacaÃ±ang said on Wednesday he was not surprised the country had landed at the bottom of a COVID-19 resilience report, instead blaming the challenge of accessing coronavirus vaccines.
“We are not surprised that the Philippines, as well as other Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam are at the bottom of the list, while the top countries on the list are developed countries such as Ireland, Spain, the Netherlands, Finland, and Denmark, âPresidency spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement.
The country is the lowest among 53 countries with a score of 40.2 in Bloomberg’s latest COVID resilience ranking released on Tuesday. This is down from its 52nd spot in the previous report.
Other Southeast Asian countries – Indonesia (52.4), Thailand (47.6), Malaysia (44.1) and Vietnam (43.7) – rounded off the bottom five.
Reiterating President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines before the United Nations, Roque said the country needs a stable supply of vaccines.
âUnfortunately, as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte explained to the United Nations, rich countries are hoarding vital vaccines, while poor countries are waiting for nets,â he said. “The Philippines is a classic example, where inoculation is highly dependent on the availability and stability of the vaccine supply.”
Presidential Entrepreneurship Advisor Joey Concepcion echoed the sentiment and said he didn’t think the government was failing in its response to the pandemic.
“Of course there are a lot of setbacks and if you look down we are with Thailand, Malaysia and the rest … what is important here is that we are faced with the vaccine supply,” Concepcion told CNN Philippines. Word.
He said the country was also affected by delays in deliveries from vaccine manufacturers, but assured the public the supply was starting to arrive now. And as volumes arrive, Concepcion said he hopes more local governments will receive additional supplies to further scale up immunization in the country.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) said there had been improvements in the government’s response to the pandemic, particularly in the vaccination schedule.
“So sa ngayon pag tinignan natin, nag-improves naman tayo (At the moment we can see that we have improved). If you can see our vaccination coverage, it has improved considerably,” said the undersecretary to Health Maria Rosario Vergeire during a briefing.
The DOH said the country is expected to receive at least 114 million doses of the vaccine from October through December. He added that the government plans to administer 800,000 to 1 million doses per day by next month.
So far, nearly 44 million vaccines have already been administered – with 20 million Filipinos now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. However, it is still a long way from the target of at least 70 million to achieve collective immunity.
On Tuesday, the president approved the vaccination of the general population, including minors between the ages of 12 and 17, starting next month.