MANILA (UPDATE) - An additional 38,400 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from British-Swedish drug firm AstraZeneca arrived in Manila Sunday night.
The second batch of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX Facility arrived at 6:43 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.
Health officials, Sec. Carlito Galvez and COVID-19 testing czar Vince Dizon, along with Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Ed Monreal, and representatives of the World Health Organization and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) welcomed the vaccines from Amsterdam.
The vaccines will be transported to the Department of Health cold storage facility in Marikina City.
This is the third batch of donated vaccines to arrive in Manila.
The vaccines were loaded on a Boeing 777 commercial flight of Royal Dutch Airline flight KLM803 from Amsterdam via Bangkok in Thailand.
With the latest delivery, the Philippines has now received more than 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for its health workers.
Galvez said the country is expecting around 1.4 million doses from Sinovac, of which 400,000 doses are part of the 1 million doses of donated vaccine from China, while the other 1 million was procured by the Philippine government.
"These vaccines are essential in maintaining the momentum of our vaccine rollout. Since we started our inoculation program on March 1, more and more Filipinos, particularly healthcare workers, have expressed their desire to be vaccinated. This will enable the government to achieve its goal of preserving the integrity of the nation’s healthcare system and ensure that it will be able to effectively manage a spike in COVID-19 cases," Galvez said in a statement.
"Again, we would like to call on all Filipinos to register and get immunized as soon as the vaccines are available in your area. Over the past few days, there has been a spike in the number of active COVID-19 cases in the country which medical experts attribute to new coronavirus variants that have emerged," he added.
- Report from Jeffrey Hernaez, ABS-CBN News