Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday said the country was not experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases unlike some of its Asian neighbors because of its diverse vaccine portfolio.

Eleven vaccine brands have been approved for emergency use in the Philippines: Covovax, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Sputnik V, Sputnik Light, Janssen, AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Sinopharm (Beijing), Sinopharm (Wuhan) aand Sinovac.

The vaccines approved in the country work in various ways. Some use inactivated, weakened or killed copies of the whole or part of the virus or bacteria, and some use genetic product (like mRNA vaccines) that create protein copies without causing disease.

“Unlike other countries, they rely on only one platform like mRNA or inactivated platform. The Philippines has a portfolio of eight different types of vaccines using almost all of the various platforms, and we have proven that all of these vaccines are effective,” Galvez said in President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Talk to the People” address.

“At maganda rin po ang timing po ng mga deliveries dahil po noong nag-deliver po tayo ng maraming vaccine ay noong marami po tayong surges,” he added.

The Philippines has 72 percent of its target population fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Galvez said.

“We have done the massive vaccination at the time that there were surges and we immediately decided to administer boosters three months after the primary series,” he added.

Galvez claimed the Omicron surge in early 2022 also helped build “natural immunity” among Filipinos.

“We suffered several waves of surges. In the end, nakatulong pala ito sa immunity. Notwithstanding also na ang ating mga kababayan ay naging resilient at ang kanilang strong observance sa masking at saka ‘yung minimum health standard ay malaki po ang naitulong para sa another layer of protection,” the vaccine czar said.

The government is aiming to vaccinate 90 million Filipinos in 2022. John Ezekiel J. Hirro