MANILA - The Chinese government will donate 1 million more Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines, China's envoy to the country announced on Thursday.
In a Facebook post, Ambassador Huang Xilian said the vaccines would arrive on Friday and Saturday.
The country welcomed its first-ever shipment of donated Sinopharm jabs from the United Arab Emirates on Aug. 11.
"The recent spike in cases from several COVID-19 variants motivates the national government to further procure vaccine doses," Huang said.
"With the arrival of the donated Sinopharm vaccines and the substantive increase of Sinovac vaccines supply this month, our cooperation addresses the need to increase and fast-track vaccine supply and shipment," he added.
In June, the Food and Drug Administration granted the Department of Health (DOH) approval to receive donated Sinopharm vaccines.
The vaccine brand was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) due to its expected arrival this month, Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo earlier said.
Last week, vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said the country is expecting delivery of at least 7 million more Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine shots this August.
The country is battling another surge of virus infections, most likely driven by the more contagious COVID-19 Delta variant, which first emerged from India.
Since its vaccine rollout in March, the government has been able to administer over 29.1 million virus jabs, of which 16.2 million are considered first doses.
Nearly 12.9 million Filipinos, meanwhile, are fully vaccinated from the respiratory disease, government data showed as of Wednesday.
More than a year and a half into the pandemic, reported coronavirus infections in the Philippines have soared to more than 1.77 million, the second highest in Southeast Asia, while deaths reached more than 30,000.
- with a report from Reuters