MANILA - The Philippine government may begin distributing a shipment of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to different hospitals late Friday, the country's testing czar said.
"Siguro po magsisimula either later today or tomorrow ang pagdi-distribute sa mga iba't ibang ospital ang AstraZeneca," testing czar Vince Dizon told Telerdayo.
(Maybe, the distribution of AstraZeneca [vaccine] to different hospitals will start either today or tomorrow.)
Through the global vaccine-sharing initiative COVAX Facility, some 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in the country Thursday night.
Dizon said hospitals who received the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, which were delivered by China Sunday, would also receive the AstraZeneca jabs.
"Makakatanggap din po kasi sabay nating iro-rollout. Base sa utos ng ating pangulo, para may choice ang ating mga health-care worker," he said.
(They will also receive because both will be rolled out at the same time. Based on the order of the President, so our health-care workers will have a choice.)
Health-care workers nationwide are prioritized to receive the shots, Dizon said. There are 1.7 million health-care workers that needs to be inoculated against the disease all over the country, he added.
More than 9,000 people have been inoculated in the country since Monday.
The Philippines has also purchased 17 million doses of anti-coronavirus shots from the British pharmaceutical firm, with the help of private firms and local government units. The vaccines are expected to be delivered in mid-2021.
Under the COVAX Facility, the country can also receive up to 9.2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, the World Health Organization had said.
Nearly a year into the pandemic, the Philippines has logged over 584,000 coronavirus infections, among the highest in Asia. More than 12,000 have died from the disease.