MANILA — A fresh shipment of over a million COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the Philippines on Friday night.
The batch of 1,138,430 Pfizer-BioNTech doses came via plane at the NAIA Terminal 3.
These jabs were donated by the government of Australia through the global humanitarian agency Unicef.
The shipment is the 3rd batch to arrive in the Philippines this week and the 8th this February, which includes 3 arrivals of reformulated Pfizer doses.
Dr. Ma. Paz Corrales, medical consultant of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) said at the arrival of the latest vaccine batch that 3 million have been immunized during the national vaccination drives.
The 3rd wave of the drive which began on February 10 ended on Friday.
This is only 60% of the government’s 5 million target.
Corrales said vaccine hesitancy was one of the reasons behind the inability to reach the target.
“There are a lot of factors why we were not able to reach the target. One is the occurrence of Typhoon Odette, then most of our health workers were afflicted with COVID, and there’s a little percent of vaccine hesitancy still in our Filipino counterparts."
Meanwhile, she said 329,000 5 to 11-year-old Filipinos have received the reformulated COVID-19 jab since vaccination for the younger age group began on February 7.
The NTF has logged 224,823,360 COVID-19 vaccine doses to have already reached the country as of Friday.
However, as of Thursday, 133,234,116 or less than 60 percent of the vaccines that have arrived have been administered.
Close to 62.2 million Filipinos have already been fully vaccinated and more than 9.4 million have received booster shots.