The first shipment of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) from Pfizer-BioNTech arrived in the Philippines at around 9 p.m. on Monday night.
The 193,050 doses were from the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization.
In a statement, Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd said the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines will be used on priority groups A1 to A3 or health workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities, and will be distributed in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao.
“We have been working hard to bring these vaccines to the country especially with the scarce global supply of Covid-19 vaccines. We thank the COVAX facility and all of our partners for making this possible,” Duque said.
The WHO’s COVAX initiative has already made four shipments of Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines, with the first comprising 487,200 doses delivered on March 4; 38,400 doses delivered on March 7; and a third delivery consisting of 2 million doses on Saturday.
The newly arrived vaccines were immediately transported to the PharmaServ Express cold-chain storage facility in Marikina City.
The Pfizer vaccine requires a temperature at -80°C to -60°C, prior to dilution.
National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said the Philippines is slated to receive at least 1.1 million more doses of Pfizer jabs through the COVAX facility within this month.
The government will conduct a simulation rollout on handling, logistics, and transportation for the newly arrived 193,050 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
With the arrival of additional Pfizer vaccines, the Philippines’ vaccine stockpile increased to 7,764,000 doses, of which are 2.5 million AstraZeneca vaccines, 5 million Sinovac shots, and 15,000 Sputnik V doses, and now 193,050 Pfizer jabs.The government targets to vaccinate up to 70 percent of the country’s population to achieve herd immunity.SOVEREIGNPH