MANILA (UPDATE) - A Cebu Pacific flight carrying 1 million doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Manila Wednesday morning.
A Philippine News Agency report showed Cebu Pacific flight 5J 671 carrying 1 million doses of government-procured Sinovac landing at the Bay 116 ramp of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City.
In a press briefing, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the new Sinovac vaccines will be administered nationwide. "Karamihan diyan pang 2nd dose," he said.
Another 1.5 million vaccines are expected to arrive on July 17.
The freshly-delivered doses are expected to be deployed to local government units within two days, according to National Task Force against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon.
Since Monday, several cities in Metro Manila have postponed administering Sinovac’s second dose due to the lack of supply.
“Awa ng Diyos, may certificate of analysis na siya, kaya kaagad-agad ide-deploy na ito today and tomorrow sa mga iba’t ibang LGU,” Dizon said in a press briefing in Mandaluyong City.
(Thank God, it already has a certificate of analysis so it can be deployed already to different local government units.)
Dizon admitted that the biggest challenge in the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program is the supply of vaccines.
He remained optimistic, however, that the government’s vaccination target could still be achieved within the year.
The official also expected the Philippines to reach 14 million total administered COVID-19 jabs on Wednesday.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who also co-chairs the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, earlier said the Philippines expects to receive a total of 16 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this month.
He said that by the end of July, the country would have already received some 32 or 33 million vaccine doses in total since the first delivery on Feb. 28.
Of the total, more than 10.4 million doses were government-procured, 7 million doses were sourced from the COVAX facility, more than 2 million doses came from bilateral donations, while the rest were initial deliveries of LGU and private sector-procured doses, the National Task Force against COVID-19 said.
The Food and Drug Administration earlier said Chinese company Sinovac has applied for an amendment to its emergency use authorization (EUA) so its COVID-19 vaccine could be used on children aged 3 to 17.
SM SUPERMALLS VACCINATION
Of the total COVID-19 jabs administered nationwide, 1 million doses were done in vaccination centers within SM Supermalls, its president Steven Tan announced.
The firm marked the milestone on Wednesday with a gift certificate worth P10,000 for the recipient of the 1 millionth jab. The ceremony was held in SM Megamall.
“Today, 1 million jabs of protection against COVID-19 have been given at our malls around the country. We have opened 62 malls as vaccination centers,” Tan said.
He added that close to 90 percent of their mall personnel have already been vaccinated.
SM Supermalls saw double-digit monthly growth in foot traffic since COVID vaccination began in the country. But Tan said it would take a while before they could fully recover to pre-pandemic levels.
“We saw that when the rollout of the vaccination has been pushed, together with the safety seal and all these campaigns. We saw that customers start wanting to go out again and go to the malls. It has increased tremendously. Double-digit definitely, month-to-month,” he said.
— Reports from Jervis Manahan and Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News