The Philippines received one million doses of the China-made CoronaVac vaccine from Sinovac on Wednesday morning, bringing to 21.78 million the total number of anti-coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine doses received so far by the country.
The latest vaccine shipment arrived on board a Cebu Pacific flight 5J 671 from Beijing that landed at 8 a.m. at the Bay 116 ramp of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City.
In an interview, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19, said the new batch of Sinovac vaccines would be distributed to local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila, particularly those that have suspended administering Sinovac doses due to lack of supply.
An additional 1.5 million doses of Sinovac will be delivered on July 17.
“Majority of the 2.5 million doses are for second doses. The provinces are waiting for the second dose of Sinovac because they hastened the administration of the first doses,” Galvez said partly in Filipino.
The newly arrived Sinovac vaccine will be deployed immediately on Wednesday because it has been given the Certificate of Analysis (COA).
“I would like to tell the public na ang dumating po ngayon na 1 million, meron na po itong COA (that the one million vaccine doses that arrived today already have a COA). Pwede na po itong iturok (It can be administered) right away,” he said.
Galvez previously announced a two-week delay in the delivery of the Sinovac vaccine for this month but expressed optimism that the delay would not affect the vaccination program.
The government ordered 26 million Sinovac doses for this year.
So far, the Philippines has received a total of 13 million doses of Sinovac, including the newly delivered jabs.
Galvez also bared that some 1.17 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, procured by the LGUs and private sector, are scheduled to arrive on July 16.
He added that the Philippines recorded the highest jab per day on July 13 with 375,059 vaccine shots administered.
Galvez noted that as more vaccine doses arrive, the government is eyeing an equitable distribution of vaccines beginning this month.
“Starting July, we will have more or less equitable distribution of the anti-coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines,” he added partly in Filipino.
The Philippines received 132,200 doses of the Russia-made Sputnik V on July 10, followed by 37,800 doses on July 11.