Thirteen countries in Asia have launched their COVID-19 vaccination drive, not just three as presidential spokesperson Harry Roque wrongly claimed.
Data from coronavirus vaccination trackers, including Our World in Data, The New York Times and Bloomberg whose data Roque showed during his Feb. 1 briefing, identified the following Asia countries as already administering the vaccines: Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar in Southeast Asia; China in East Asia; India, Sri Lanka and Nepal in South Asia; and Bahrain, Israel, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates in Western Asia.
In all, they have administered 39.3 million doses.
Slamming critics questioning why the vaccination drive has not begun, Roque said only three countries in Asia – Singapore, India and Indonesia – have done so and the Philippines would, like many of its Asian neighbors, undertake the vaccination campaign this month.
Tatlong Asyanong mga bansa pa lang pong nagrollout. Ito po ang Singapore, ang India, at ang Indonesia. At ilan na ho ba anf talagang nabakunahan sa mga lugar na ito?…Sa Singapore, 1.98 percent pa lang po ang nababakunahan, sa India, 0.27 percent pa lamang at sa Indonesia, 0.19 percent (Only three Asian countries have rolled out (the vaccine). These are Singapore, India and Indonesia. And how many have been vaccinated in these places? In Singapore, only 1.98% have been vaccinated, in India only .27% and in Indonesia only 0.19%).
Roque announced during the briefing that a total of 9.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca will be shipped to the Philippines by the second quarter of the year through COVAX, a World Health Organization-led platform that seeks to secure vaccines for 20% of the population in each participating country by the end of 2021.
Of the 9.4 million, 5.6 million doses are expected to arrive in the first quarter, with AstraZeneca set to make its initial delivery in mid- or late February.
Roque said 50,000 doses of Sinovac from China will also be available in February.
The Philippines is eyeing the importation of 148 million doses to inoculate 70 million people by the end of the year.
As of Jan. 31, the country has recorded 525,618 confirmed cases and 10,749 deaths due to the novel coronavirus.
Holder, J. (2021, January 31). Tracking coronavirus vaccinations around the world. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/world/covid-vaccinations-tracker.html
More than 98.3 million shots given: Covid-19 Tracker. (2021, February 1). Bloomberg. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/
Our World in Data. (2021, February 1). Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations. Retrieved from https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations
Radio Television Malacanang. (2021, February 1). Spox Roque press briefing New Executive Building, Malacañang February 1, 2021 [Video]. Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/rtvmalacanang/videos/213433450486176
Worldometers. (n.d.). Countries in Asia. Retrieved from https://www.worldometers.info/geography/how-many-countries-in-asia/