MANILA—The Philippines received 1.5 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses from China’s Sinovac Biotech on Saturday morning.
The government-bought Sinovac doses arrived on board Cebu Pacific flight 5J671 at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 at 8:01 a.m.
A batch of 1 million Sinovac vaccine doses also arrived on Wednesday and was distributed to local government units.
However, Director Ariel Valencia of the Supply Chain Management Office of the Department of Health said his office has yet to receive the latest batch’s Certificate of Analysis.
"We're still waiting for COA. Yan po naman with proper guidelines from (Food and Drug Administration. We can't distribute and use unless we have COA," Valencia said, adding that it could take a few days to a week before the certificate arrives.
“Based sa experience natin, we have one week waiting period before we have the copy. Di kami maka-deliver (We can't deliver) based sa guidelines ng FDA. But as soon as we received the COA, the following day we will deliver it."
Several cities in Metro Manila have postponed administering Sinovac’s second dose due to lack of supply.
“Yan naman ay para tugunan base na rin sa guidelines sa atin to complete the vaccination. Priority matapos yung second dose,” he said.
Besides Sinovac, the government is also expecting the arrival of the second batch of 1.6 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine donation from COVAX facility. The first batch arrived in Manila on Friday.
Based on government data compiled by ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, 24,788,110 doses of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the country, as of July 16, 2021.
As of July 14, the total number of fully-vaccinated people is now at 4,047,792. — Report from Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News