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Duterte: China to donate 400,000 more Covid-19 vax

MJ Blancaflor

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said China would donate an additional 400,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine.

He did not specify whether the donated shots would come from Sinovac or Sinopharm.

“China would give us another 400 [thousand doses], making their donation to this country one million [doses],” Duterte said during his speech at the inauguration of the new school buildings in Lawang Bato, Valenzuela.

Duterte’s new announcement came hours before the shipment of 487,200 AstraZeneca vaccines, which are sourced from the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to attend the arrival ceremony of the vaccine at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.

Beijing earlier donated 600,000 doses of Sinovac’s vaccine, commonly known as CoronaVac, the first to be officially rolled out in the country.

Duterte attended on Sunday the arrival ceremony of the China-made vaccine from Sinovac.

The Philippines also procured one million shots from the Beijing-based manufacturer.

The president, who has sought cordial ties with Beijing since assuming the presidency in 2016, earlier said he might visit China before his term ends to personally thank Chinese President Xi Jinping for his donation.

To date, at least 9,077 Filipinos have received CoronaVac in 32 vaccination sites in Metro Manila, three days after the country launched its immunization program against Covid-19.

All vaccine recipients were fine, except for at least 20 individuals who experienced “minor and common” adverse effects such as headaches, nausea, rashes, muscle pain, and high blood pressure.

The government is pinning its hopes that the vaccination program would put an end to the pandemic.

So far, the Philippines has recorded 584,667 coronavirus infections, of which six percent or 37,226 are active cases.

Ninety percent of current Covid-19 patients are experiencing mild symptoms.

Meanwhile, the death toll rose to 12,404 after 15 more patients had died.

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