MANILA - More than 560,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the Philippines on Wednesday night, as the country continues to intensify its vaccination efforts amid the detection of the more contagious Delta variant.
The shipment of 562,770 Pfizer doses arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
They are part of the 40 million doses of vaccines the government procured from the American pharmaceutical giant, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press conference earlier in the day.
Last June, more than 2.2 million doses of Pfizer jabs also arrived in the country. The Philippines received its first batch of the American-made vaccine, amounting to 193,050 doses, last May.
A total of 2,472,210 doses of the said vaccine brand had been delivered to the country prior to Wednesday's shipment, based on the monitoring of the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group.
According to the National Task Force Against COVID-19, the newly delivered vaccines will be distributed as follows:
- 51,480 doses - Cebu (received 6:45 p.m. of Wednesday)
- 459,810 doses - Pharmaserv storage facility in Marikina City
- 51,480 doses - Davao (to be delivered 6:30 a.m. of Thursday)
Pfizer's vaccine candidate was the first to be granted emergency use authorization (EUA) in the Philippines, getting the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) approval on Jan. 14.
Meanwhile, the country also expects to receive 1.5 million more doses from Sinovac on Thursday, July 22, and another 1 million from the Chinese drugmaker on Friday, July 23, officials said.
The Philippines has so far received nearly 28 million COVID-19 shots in total, prior to Wednesday's delivery.
As of Tuesday, some 5 million people in the country have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 10.5 million others have received their first dose, according to data from government.
The country, which has the second-highest COVID-19 tally in Southeast Asia with over 1.5 million coronavirus cases, aims to vaccinate 58 to 70 million of its 109 million population this year to achieve herd immunity.
—With reports from Jeffrey Hernaez and Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News