Nearly 867,000 Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine jabs bought by PH arrive in Manila

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 10 2021 10:28 PM | Updated as of Nov 10 2021 10:58 PM

Arrival of 866,970 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the NAIA Terminal 3 on November 10, 2021. Handout from NTF vs COVID-19
Arrival of 866,970 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the NAIA Terminal 3 on November 10, 2021. Handout from NTF vs COVID-19

MANILA - The Philippines on Wednesday accepted 866,970 government-bought COVID-19 vaccine doses manufactured by Pfizer, authorities said. 

The vaccine shots from the US brand arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 before 9 p.m. via DHL flight LD456.

This is only the first batch of the 1,733,940 Pfizer shots that were procured by the government with the help of the Asian Development Bank, according to the National Task Force Against COVID-19. 

Another 866,970 vaccine jabs will arrive on Thursday. 

The night's delivery raises the total vaccine doses that arrived in Manila to 118.11 million, data collated by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed. 

Earlier in the day, authorities also accepted the delivery of 3 million more doses of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine which were also government-procured.

BOOSTING PH'S COVID-19 VACCINATION

Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, National Task Force Against COVID-19 head of Strategic Communications on Current Operations, said the fresh vaccine deliveries could help ramp up the country's inoculation drive, most especially in the provinces. 

The official also urged residents in far-flung communities to get vaccinated should the vaccines arrive in their area. 

“Muling hinihikayat natin ang ating mga local government officials, mga implementaing agencies na tuloy tuloy po, increase po natin at i-ramp up natin po ang pagbabakuna," Mayor explained. 

“Mayroon po tayong programa ngayon, yung 3-day national vaccination program ng ating pamahalaan at hinihikayat po natin na lahat po tayo mag-cooperate dito para po maabot natin ang herd immunity at least 50 to 80 percent by December at magkaroon po tayo ng maayos na Pasko, he added. 

The task force's chief implementer, vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said they aim to administer boosters to health workers by mid-November. 

“Hintayin natin yung pronouncement ng Department of Health, I think ang sabi ay before Nov. 15, mag-aanunsyo tungkol sa booster," said Herbosa. 

"Ang alam ko yung ating healthcare workers at immunocompromised. Ang magandang balita dito, ito ay 18 milllion doses na ng Pfizer na binili natin ang dumating plus 14 million ang dumating galing COVAX, so marami na talaga,” the government adviser added. 

As of Wednesday, some 30.1 million people in the country are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while over 35.6 million others have received their first dose of the vaccine. 

The government targets to fully inoculate up to 77 million for the country to achieve herd immunity against the respiratory illness.

Philippine authorities are ramping up the country's inoculation program to reach the target 1.5 million administered shots daily.

The government is planning to hold a "National Vaccine Day" program to be carried out from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, with the aim of inoculating up to 15 million individuals.

- Reports from Job Manahan and Jeffrey Hernaez, ABS-CBN News

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