MANILA (UPDATE)—Philippine authorities on Saturday afternoon accepted the delivery of nearly 1.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from Moderna, as the country prepares to expand its inoculation program this month.
The plane carrying the virus jabs arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 before 4 p.m. via China Airlines Flight CI 703.
Of the latest 1.36 million newly delivered doses, 885,700 were bought by the government while 477,600 were procured by the private sector, the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 said.
This raised the total virus jabs delivered to the country to 85.57 million, data showed.
The government has allocated an initial 45,000 to 50,000 COVID-19 jabs for the pilot vaccination of teens aged 12 to 17 in selected hospitals in Metro Manila, according to vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.
During the arrival, Galvez said this was the 11th COVID-19 jabs shipment to the Philippines in the past 9 days.
"First of all I would like to thank . . . Moderna for their commitment in delivering more or less 5 million vaccine this October . . . I would also like to thank the American Government who are always monitoring and receiving all the US vaccine that we receiving today," he said.
Galvez added that the country received 14,251,100 COVID-19 shots during the first week of the month alone, marking it as a "remarkable development."
"It is now harvest time," he said.
The official also urged local government units to ramp up their vaccine rollout, now that the country has an adequate supply of COVID-19 jabs.
"Ang ating supply na po ay wala na tayong problema. Ako po ay nananawagan sa lahat ng local units kasama po ang ating DILG, ang ating military, ang ating mga mayors at ating governors mga kapulisan para paghusayin po natin ang mga pagbabakuna," he added.
(We no longer have a problem with vaccine supplies. I am calling on our local units, as well as our LGUs, mayors, governors, and law enforcement agencies to boost our vaccination efforts)
Based on government data as of Friday, authorities have so far fully vaccinated nearly 22.9 million individuals, while at least 26 million already got their first dose.