MANILA (UPDATE) - The Philippines on Sunday received over 3 million more doses of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine as the country logged over 20,000 new cases of the disease.
According to the National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF), 3 million doses of the China-made jabs procured by the government arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City before 6 p.m.
With the arrival of the new batch of COVID-19 jabs, the Philippines has received 69.7 million vaccine doses so far. On Thursday, more than 728,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech jabs were also delivered to the country.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., said the new batch of Sinovac vaccines will be allocated mostly for provinces in regions IV-A, 3, 6, 7, 11, 2, 1 and 9.
"Mga regions at mga provinces ang padadalhan natin nito, at ang nakita natin sa (Metro) Manila, pang-second dosing na lang ang ginagamit natin," he said.
(The vaccines will be allocated for the regions and provinces, and in [Metro] Manila, most of the allocated vaccines will be used for second dose.)
Galvez said that Metro Manila has already fully vaccinated 70 percent of its adult population, with 86 percent having taken at least one dose. By the end of October "more or less" 90 percent of Metro Manila's targetted adult population will be fully vaccinated, he said.
The vaccine czar said around 2.5 million Sinovac doses are expected to arrive by Oct. 1 and that by the end of next month, 100 million vaccines doses will have been delivered to the country.
Once enough doses arrive and enough people have been vaccinated, the government will look at the possibility of vaccinating those below 18 years old.
"Once na nakita natin na magkaroon ng sizeable threshold, more or less 50 percent ng ating population, ay puwede na tayo magkaroon ng, vaccinate tinatawag natin na 12 to 17.”
(Once we see a sizeable threshold, more or less 50 percent of the population, we can vaccinate 12 to 17-year-olds.)
The Philippines is battling a new wave of COVID-19 infections due to the community transmission of the more virulent Delta variant.
The country's total recorded COVID-19 infections have reached 2,490,858 of which 161,447 are active, as of Sunday.
The respiratory disease, believed to have first emerged in China in late 2019, has claimed 37,405 lives in the Philippines while 2,267,678 have recuperated from it.
A total of 20,205,826 people in the country have been fully immunized as of Sept. 26, according to Galvez.