MANILA – Three million doses of Sinovac vaccine, the biggest shipment yet of the government-procured Covid-19 jabs from China, arrived via Philippine Airlines Flight PR 359 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 on Thursday night.
National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the vaccines will be distributed to provinces to sustain the government's vaccine rollout and reach population protection – about 70 million – before the year ends.
Galvez said the newly delivered jabs are critical to meet the needs in regions and catch up with Metro Manila, which has vaccinated about 40 percent of its target population.
"Naka-program na kung ilang araw na ang nalalabi sa vaccines. Ginagawa natin ‘yan para ma-maximize ang vaccination at walang matengga. Ginagawa namin ito para at least unang una, ‘yung iba makahabanol sa herd immunity by December. So sa ngayon nakita natin karamihan nasa 20 percent so inaangat natin yan para mahabol ang 40 percent sa (It has been programmed to allow those behind to catch up and meet the target for herd immunity by December. Right now, most are in 20 percent and we will increase this to reach the estimated 40 percent [vaccination rate] in) Metro Manila," Galvez said in an interview.
The delivery followed the fourth shipment of government-procured Pfizer vaccine, consisting of 365,040 doses, that arrived on Wednesday night.
Of the total of the US jabs, 51,480 shots were delivered to Cebu City right after arrival while another 51,480 doses were shipped to Davao City on Thursday morning.
The remaining 262,080 doses are temporarily stored at the PharmaServ Express cold-chain facility in Marikina City and will be deployed to the National Capital Region and other areas which have not yet received the Pfizer brand.
Including the Sinovac delivery, the country has already received 45 million Covid-19 vaccine doses – procured, donated, and through the COVAX Facility. (PNA)