By Deighton Acuin


Amid large shipments of COVID-19 vaccines and expansion of prioritization to more groups, President Rodrigo Duterte is optimistic that the pandemic crisis will end soon.

During the ceremonial vaccination rollout of A4 priority individuals in Pasay City, Duterte said in a message: “We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel as the vaccine shipments have arrived, and have started to arrive in bulk.”

He added: “With the start of our mass vaccination, the A4 priority category is workers in both public and private sector will have an added layer of protection against the disease.”

Duterte reiterated that even after getting vaccinated, minimum health and safety protocols should still be in place to further contain the spread of the disease.

“To my dear kababayans, let us keep in mind that vaccination is the only way forward for us to overcome this pandemic. But we must also remember that getting vaccinated is not the only solution. We must continue to observe minimum public health standards by wearing a mask, washing our hands, and observing social distancing,” the President said.

The vaccination of the A4 priority group will first be focused in places with a high number of COVID-19 infections like Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas, Cebu, and Davao.

To kickstart the country’s economy, an estimated 35.5 million economic frontliners are needed to get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

By the month of June, the Philippines expects the arrival of 11,058,000 vaccine doses from Sinovac Biotech, Gamaleya Institute, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna.

As of June 7, 6,096,208 COVID-19 vaccines have already been administered in the country. By the numbers, 4,491,948 have received the first dose and 1,604,260 have completed two required doses.