MANILA — Another batch of COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by American pharmaceutical company Pfizer, composed of 1.8 million doses, arrived in the Philippines early Sunday.
The Pfizer shots arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 via flight National Airlines N8 523.
The jabs were donated by the United States through the vaccine-sharing platform COVAX Facility.
On Saturday, the Philippines also received 889,200 doses of Pfizer's vaccine.
The latest delivery brings the country's total received vaccine doses to 77,410,640.
Secretary Carlito Galvez, who heads the country's vaccination efforts, said a portion of the Pfizer vaccines would be allotted for those aged to 17.
The Pfizer jabs will also be given to priority groups such as senior citizens and persons with comorbidites, he added.
Health officials earlier said the government would open COVID-19 vaccination to 12- to 17-year-olds starting October 15.
Galvez said the country is expected to receive millions of Pfizer, Moderna and Sinovac vaccines this October.
"By the end of October, we project that the country would have received a total of 100 million vaccine doses (since February), which could fully inoculate about 50 million Filipinos," he said.
"This brings us closer to our goal of achieving herd immunity or population protection for us to safely exit from this pandemic as soon as possible," he added.
The US also donated P1.9 million worth of medical supplies such as ultra cold freezers.
The Philippines is fighting one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Asia, with a total of 2.58 million confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, including over 38,600 deaths.
The government is targeting to inoculate around 77 million people. As of Saturday, 46.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered nationwide, according to the National Vaccination Operations Center.
Of the total, 24,513,343 doses were administered as a first shot while 21,737,744 were second doses.
— Report from Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News