Philippines to get 1.4 million Sinovac COVID-19 shots this March

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS CBN News

Posted at Mar 16 2021 02:52 PM | Updated as of Mar 16 2021 03:26 PM

Philippines to get 1.4 million Sinovac COVID-19 shots this March 1
Medical frontliners from the San Juan Medical Center get inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine at the Filoil Flying V Arena on March 6, 2021. On the same day a year ago, the first local transmission of COVID-19 in the country was detected in San Juan City. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Philippines will get at least 1.4 million more COVID-19 shots from Beijing-based drug maker Sinovac Biotech this March, an official leading the country's inoculation drive said on Wednesday. 

About 400,000 Sinovac doses given by China will arrive on March 24, raising its total donation to the Philippines to 1 million doses. Another 1 million Sinovac shots that the Philippines will procure will arrive on March 28, said vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. 

Meanwhile, a second tranche of 900,000 shots from vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility will arrive in late March or early April, said Galvez, a former military general who is also chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

The Philippines earlier received 600,000 Sinovac shots as a donation from China and 525,600 shots of Britain's AstraZeneca vaccine through COVAX. 

At least 216,794 health workers have been vaccinated as of Tuesday, 11 a.m., said Galvez. 

"Kapag natapos na ang pagbabakuna ng ating medical, health workers sa loob ng buwan, nakikita natin, sa first week of April o second week of April, isusunod naman natin iyong sector na priority list, iyong ating mga senior citizen," said Galvez. 

(Once we complete the vaccination of our medical, health workers, which we see in the first or second week of April, we will inoculate the next sector in the priority list, the senior citizens.)

The Philippines aims to vaccinate 70 million people or two-thirds of its population against COVID-19 this year. The country is battling a surge of infections in recent weeks, which has pushed up its total tally of COIVD-19 cases to 626,893 as of Monday. 

Video courtesy of PTV