MANILA - Officials of the Chinese embassy in the Philippines are coordinating with Philippine aviation officials on the arrival of the first batch of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines Sunday, sources said Thursday.
Aviation sources said the Chinese Embassy is seeking clearance for a People's Liberation Army Air Force cargo plane to land in Manila on Sunday.
The military plane will carry 600,000 vials of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Sinovac.
The vaccines were donated by China and the batch is directly consigned to the Department of Health.
The Philippine Air Force also coordinated with aviation officials to give priority landing for the Chinese cargo plane on Sunday, sources said.
The tarmac area fronting the PAF Kalayaan Hall will be the venue for the turnover ceremony to be attended by President Rodrigo Duterte and the Chinese envoy to the Philippines, as well as other embassy officials, according to sources.
A simulation exercise for the arrival of the vaccines will be held on Friday and Saturday.
It is not yet clear whether the ceremony will be open for coverage by the media, as the Department of Health initially restricted media coverage during the initial simulation of vaccine arrivals at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
From the PAF tarmac grounds, a phalanx of police security will accompany the rented refrigerated van commission by the DOH to bring the vaccines to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa City.
The DOH earlier said uniformed personnel and medical frontliners are among those who will prioritized in the vaccine rollout.
- report from Raoul Esperas