MANILA – The Philippines received another one million doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine on Thursday.
National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. welcomed the arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 around 7:25 a.m.
Later tonight, over two million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine are also set to arrive in the country.
Galvez said he is thankful to the management of Sinovac and China for being “very committed” to delivering the Covid-19 vaccines on time.
“This (latest batch of vaccines) is (a) huge help for Metro Manila and nearby areas,” he told reporters.
The vaccine czar acknowledged that the Philippines had experienced a shortage in the Covid-19 vaccine supply due to the delay in deliveries.
“The last delivery was on June 6. Delivery may likely (to) stabilize by June 14,” he said.
Aside from the delivery of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Gamaleya’s Covid-19 vaccines this month, Galvez said another 1.5 million doses from Sinovac will arrive on June 17.
The figure includes the orders of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he added.
Citing that some regions have been dealing with a surge in Covid-19 cases, Galvez reiterated that the President’s directive was for the vaccines to reach all provinces and municipalities.
He, however, clarified that since Pfizer vaccine has cold chain requirements for storage, transport and handling, then these would go to areas that are ready for those requirements.
The 2.2 million Pfizer doses will also be allocated for those who belong to the A1 to A3 group since the vaccines are from the COVAX facility.
A1 is composed of health front-liners; the A2 group includes the senior citizens, while the A3 group consists of persons with comorbidities.
“COVAX is very stringent. Recipients should be those who have comorbidities. Those in the A1 to A3 are the priority,” Galvez said.
To date, he said around 6.4 million individuals from A1 to A3 categories were already inoculated. (PNA)