2.2 million Pfizer jabs set to arrive later Thursday
MANILA—The Philippines early on Thursday received 1 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses from China's Sinovac Biotech, just days after the government widened its inoculation drive to cover essential workers to curb coronavirus transmission and open up the economy.
The Sinovac doses arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 7:28 a.m.
This batch is part of some 5 million Sinovac jabs that authorities expect to receive this month, vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said.
The Philippines later Thursday is expected to welcome another 2.2 million COVID-19 shots from Pfizer-BioNTech from vaccine-sharing COVAX facility, Galvez earlier said.
Cebu and Davao will each get 210,600 Pfizer doses, while the rest will go to Metro Manila, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said.
Government and economic frontliners, the fourth inoculation priority, started getting shots this week. The vaccination drive started in March, with limited vaccines first targeted at healthcare workers, senior citizens, and people with existing health conditions.
The Philippines has so far received more than 10 million doses, mostly supplied by Sinovac, but has a long way to go to meet its goal of immunizing at least 58 million people this year out of a population of 110 million.
Galvez said up to 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were expected to arrive until August.
The Philippines has reported 1.28 million infections and some 22,000 deaths. — With a report from Reuters