More than half of latest Sinovac vaccine delivery will be allocated to the provinces, with a portion going to some cities in Metro Manila where residents have yet to receive their second shots.
National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 medical adviser, Dr. Ted Herbosa, said this as he welcomed the arrival of 1.5 million CoronaVac doses from Beijing via Philippine Airlines Flight PR359 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Friday.
“This is allocated to the different regions because that is what we are targeting now, considering that the vaccination rate in the NCR is already high. We’re 52 percent fully vaccinated in NCR, and 80 percent partially vaccinated,” Herbosa told reporters partly in Filipino.
“Some of the second doses will go to some of the cities here in NCR and some cities in the NCR are already helping outlying provinces like Rizal, Laguna, and Batangas,” he added partly in Filipino.
He said the fresh doses would be deployed as soon as possible, once its certificate of analysis arrives in two to three days.
The latest shipment brings to 30 million the total number of vaccine doses Sinovac has delivered to the Philippines, based on the latest data from the Department of Health. This is on top of the one million shots donated by the Chinese government in March 2021.
According to Herbosa, more CoronaVac deliveries are expected in the coming weeks to support the “aggressive vaccination in different parts of the country.”
The NTF adviser acknowledged the delay in the shipment of some vaccines but attributed them to issues on either transportation, logistics, or production.
He said he remains optimistic that the country would achieve its target to inoculate 70 percent of its population by the end of the year, given the present rate of vaccination.
“You can see the pace of vaccination that we have right now. People are no longer saying it is slow. We are vaccinating at a pace of three million a week,” Herbosa said partly in Filipino.
The Philippines has so far received a total of 54.794 million doses of various vaccines, both procured and donated. Of this number, 46.789 million doses have been deployed to 1,886 vaccination sites nationwide.