Vaccines delivered to PH reach 62.4M since Feb

Vaccines delivered to PH reach 62.4M since Feb

MANILA – The Philippines on Sunday received more than 5 million doses of Sinovac and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines, bringing the total number of life-saving shots delivered to 62,359,810 since February.

At 6 p.m., 3 million doses of China-made Sinovac vaccine, procured by the national government, arrived onboard Philippine Airlines flight PR359 at the NAIA Terminal 2 while 2,020,590 doses of Pfizer, donated by the United States government through COVAX Facility, arrived shortly before midnight at Terminal 3 via Emirates flight EK2520.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., who welcomed both deliveries, thanked the US government for its support of the country’s vaccination program and overall pandemic response.

Among those who welcomed the Pfizer delivery include US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Heather Variava, US Embassy Acting Mission Director Sean Callahan, World Health Organization country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe and Dr. Malalay Ahmadzai, chief of Health and Nutrition at UNICEF Philippines.

”The United States has provided now 16 million doses through COVAX, 8 million of that directly from the people of the United States. And we are also very happy that the United States has been able to contribute PHP1.9 billion to the Philippines for treatment, for testing and equipment like ICU beds and other things. We expect more in the coming weeks,” Variava said.

Meantime, the Sinovac shipment would be distributed to Regions 3, 4-A (Calabarzon), 7, 11 and the National Capital Region, Galvez said.

A total of 36 million Sinovac doses have been delivered to the country so far, with about 34,100,000 doses procured by the national government, NTF data show.

With more available vaccines, Galvez hopes that senior citizens would take the life-saving shots, saying the government has been facing challenges in vaccinating the vulnerable sector.

“Yung isa sa mga challenges natin, talagang ayaw lumabas ng mga matatanda para magpabakuna dahil takot pa rin ngayon dahil tumaas ang kaso (One of the challenges is that the seniors are afraid to go out because of the high number of Covid-19 cases),” he said.

“Palagay ko, ‘pag bumaba na ang kaso natin later on, ‘yung mga nabakunahan na mga senior lumabas na, palagay ko, magkakaroon ng incentives for all our seniors to go out (Once the numbers go down the elderly would be more encouraged to go out),” Galvez added.

Nearly 46 million vaccine doses of the 62.35 million that arrived were procured while the rest were donated by China, the US, United Arab Emirates and the COVAX Facility.

The Philippines uses Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen in its vaccination program. (PNA)

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