The Philippines on Friday received the single largest Covid-19 vaccine shipment of 1.5 million doses of Sinovac Biotech’s vaccines from Beijing, China.
A Cebu Pacific plane safely airlifted the jabs to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via flight 5J 671 at 8:13 am as announced by Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, President Rodrigo Duterte’s former Special Assistant.
Go said these vaccines would boost the drive to inoculate the healthcare workers and frontliners, as well as the senior citizens and those with comorbidities.
The shipment was welcomed by Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and National
Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
The vaccines will be transported to a Covid-19 cold storage facility in Marikina City.
The latest vaccine delivery was part of the 25 million CoronaVac vials procured by the government. The first one million doses were delivered on 28 February and 24 March. These were donated by the Chinese government.
The number will be a major boost to the government’s national inoculation program as this pushed the total number of vaccines that arrived in the country to 5,540,600 doses.
Five million of these doses were CoronaVac vaccines while the other remaining vaccines were from Oxford’s AstraZeneca (525,600 doses), and 15,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V.
The country is also expecting an additional 2,030,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility tomorrow afternoon, 8 May.
Galvez earlier said the country is expecting to receive more Covid-19 vaccines in the coming months such as 194,000 doses from Moderna, 4.5 million doses from Sinovac, 1.5 million doses from AstraZeneca, and 2 million doses from Gamaleya.
For the month of July alone, at least 13.5 million vaccines are expected to be shipped to the country.
The vaccine Czar said the country needs 15 million vaccines per month to inoculate 70 percent of the population of 110 million Filipinos and achieve herd immunity before the end of the year.
As of 4 May, a total of 1,744,649 Filipinos have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccines while 320,586 individuals got inoculated with their second dose — making them fully vaccinated.