The country’s national vaccination for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) program got a boost with the arrival of 500,000 more doses of Sinovac vaccines on Sunday afternoon from China.
Officials, led by National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., witnessed the arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 via a Philippine Airlines commercial flight.
Galvez said the new delivery is part of the 25 million doses of CoronaVac vaccines secured by the government from Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech.
“It’s very important because we are racing against time and we want also to inoculate our people immediately because of the rising Covid-19 cases,” he said in an interview.
Galvez praised the drugmaker Sinovac for the continuous delivery of Covid-19 vaccines.
“We are very thankful to Sinovac for honoring its commitment to us. As of now, we have donations from China and we already received around 1.5 million doses of our procurement of 25 million,” he said.
The Philippines initially received 1 million doses of the procured supplies on March 29. A total of 1.5 million doses will arrive on April 22 and 29 and another 2 million in May.
The vaccines were transported and stored at the MetroPac cold storage facility in Marikina City.
Galvez said majority of the vaccines will be sent to Visayas and Mindanao.
Amid the challenges on vaccine acquisition and the emergence of new Covid-19 cases, Galvez said the government remains committed to access more jabs to hasten the national immunization program.
The bulk of vaccines from various pharmaceutical companies will be arriving in August, he added.
“We are committed to succeed in getting access to Covid-19 vaccines,” he said.
So far, negotiations with the seven pharmaceutical companies are “successful,” according to Galvez.
Jabs from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute and US firm Moderna will arrive this month while deals with Pfizer-Biotech are ongoing.
“This coming week we will have a conclusive signing of the contract and we are very happy that they commit to supply the same amount, delivery, and date despite the delays,” Galvez told reporters. SOVEREIGNPH