Delta variant cluster areas to get J&J vaccine share

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 16) — Regions reporting local cases of the more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant will be prioritized in the allocation of the millions of single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines arriving from the United States in the next two days.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the 3.2 million doses will be sent to Metro Manila, Western Visayas, and Northern Mindanao — with added focus on protecting senior citizens.

"Ngayon ang directive namin, ang darating na Johnson & Johnson vaccines, ibibigay natin sa mga tinatawag na areas of interest: Region 10, Metro Manila, Region 6," he said in a media briefing. "Ang J&J kasi one shot yan. Ifo-focus natin ang inoculation sa vulnerable sector, lalo na ang A2."

[Translation: Our new directive for the arriving Johnson & Johnson vaccines is that it will be given to areas of interest namely Region 10, Metro Manila and Region 6. This is a one-dose vaccine. We will focus it on the inoculation of the vulnerable sector, especially the A2.]

Over 1.6 million doses of J&J's Janssen vaccine will be delivered by COVAX on Friday as part of the donation of the United States government. Another 1.6 millionJanssen shots are expected to arrive on Saturday.

The Philippines reported its first local cases of the Delta variant. Clustering of cases were found in Western Visayas and Northern Mindanao, while two cases were reported in Metro Manila. The country has a total of 39 Delta cases, 11 of which were locally found.

The American manufacturer said its Janssen vaccine produced a strong immune response at least up to eight months after vaccination, even against the Delta variant.