MANILA – Most of the 400,000 vaccine vials of CoronaVac developed by biopharmaceutical firm Sinovac Biotech, which arrives on March 24, will be distributed in Metro Manila and other provinces that are most affected by the new variants of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang said on Friday.
The interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (iNITAG) has allocated Sinovac vaccines in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Cebu, and Davao to address the upward trend in Covid-19 cases in the country, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during the “Laging Handa” program aired over state-run PTV-4.
“Nagkaroon na po ng decision ang iNITAG na ‘yung kakarating lang po na pinakahuling donasyon ng China na 400,000 Sinovac [vaccines] ay ibibigay ang karamihan nito doon sa pinaka-apektado ng new variants, kasama na po ang NCR Plus, at ang Cebu at Davao (The iNITAG reached a decision to distribute most of China’s last donation of 400,000 Sinovac vaccines to areas affected by the new variants, including NCR Plus, Cebu, and Davao),” Roque said.
Roque said medical front-liners will still be prioritized in the government’s mass vaccination campaign.
“Pero sa ngayon po, talagang health workers pa rin po ang priority. Sa ngayon, lahat ng health workers ay magkakaroon ng opsyon na magkaroon na ng bakuna na Sinovac (As of now, health workers remain the priority. All health workers have the option to decide whether they want Sinovac vaccine),” he said.
Another 400,000 CoronaVac vaccine doses arrived in the country on March 24, bringing to one million the total Sinovac jabs donated by the Chinese government to the Philippines.
On February 28, President Rodrigo Duterte led the turn-over ceremony of the first batch of Sinovac vaccines consisting of 600,000 doses donated by Beijing.
CoronaVac is the third Covid-19 vaccine brand granted an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.
The Bureau of Customs ensured Thursday to expedite the processing, clearance, and release of 400,000 CoronaVac vaccines amid the rapid surge of coronavirus infections in the country.
Duterte earlier approved the recommendation to administer around 525,000 Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca as the first dose to medical front-liners to provide them partial protection against Covid-19. (PNA)