US-donated 1.6 million Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 jabs arrive in PH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 16 2021 04:44 PM

US-donated 1.6 million Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 jabs arrive in PH 1
A lab worker holds a vial of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine candidate in an undated photograph. Johnson & Johnson, Handout/Reuters

MANILA - The Philippines on Friday afternoon accepted the delivery of more than 1.6 million doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccines that the United States donated through vaccine-sharing platform COVAX. 

This is the first batch that the country received from the brand. 

The 1,606,600 doses of Janssen arrived in the country via Flight EK 0332 past 4 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. 

This initial delivery from the US-based medical and pharmaceutical firm raises the country's vaccine stockpile to over 24.7 million. 

On Saturday, the Philippines also expects to receive the same number of doses from the brand, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said in an advisory to reporters. 

The country's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use last April. 

The single-shot vaccine can be administered to people aged 18 and above in the country. 

Meanwhile, the vaccine made headlines this week after experts warned that those inoculated with it showed "increased risk" of a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS). 

GBS is a neurological disorder in which the body's immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness or, in the most severe cases, paralysis.

Despite this, health officials in the country said the benefits of vaccination still outweighs the risk. 

The Philippine government is in the 5th month of its COVID-19 vaccination rollout despite limited vaccine supplies. 

At least 4 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated against the disease, while more than 10 million already received their first shot, data collated by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed. 

More details to follow.

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