The Philippines received Monday an additional two million doses of Sinovac vaccines as the country continues to fight a surge in COVID-19 infections.
The new batch of Sinovac doses, which is part of the 12 million doses procured by government, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 past 7 a.m.
Vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr said a total of 56.7 million COVID-19 doses have arrived in the country. He said the new batch of Sinovac vaccines will be sent to 151 highly-urbanized cities and Regions 4A, 3, 6, 9 and 11, which are experiencing an uptick in COVID cases.
The Philippines has among the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Asia and has been battling an epidemic since March last year, which has hamstrung efforts to revive an economy that contracted more than 9% in 2020.
Galvez, meanwhile, said the Philippine Medical Association has not advised the start of COVID-19 vaccinations for children since many adults have yet to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus.
The Philippines has so far fully vaccinated some 16.1 million people, with 21.5 million yet to receive their second dose.
Once the vaccination of minors starts, priority will be given to children 12-17 years old particularly children of health care workers and those with co-morbidities.
The government is also studying booster shots for healthcare workers.