MANILA (UPDATE)— The Philippines on Thursday accepted almost 3.2 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United Kingdom, authorities said.
The 3,191,040 AstraZeneca vaccine doses, delivered through vaccine-sharing platform COVAX Facility, arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 around 4 p.m. via Emirates Airline flight EK332.
The shipment is part of the 5,225,200 doses that the UK is donating to the Philippines. Another delivery will arrive on Friday and Saturday, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said.
According to the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, the UK's over 5.22 million donated AstraZeneca shots is the second-largest COVID-19 vaccine donations by a single government to the country.
The Philippines has now received a total of 138.3 million virus shots, majority or 107.2 million of which have already been delivered nationwide, data from the ABS-CBN IRG showed.
It said that the combined 15.7 million doses of J&J, Moderna, and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines that the US government donated via the COVAX facility remains the largest donation coming from a single government to the Philippines.
The government aims to ramp up the country's vaccination output to reach its minimum 54 million full vaccination target by yearend.
To achieve the goal, the government has expanded its inoculation drive to teens aged 12 to 17.
Philippine authorities will also mount a 3-day national vaccination drive from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, aiming to immunize at least 15 million more individuals.
The country has so far fully vaccinated at least 34.5 million individuals, while 43.8 million are partially immunized.
The number of those fully inoculated against COVID-19 represents 44.8 percent of the high-end target of 77 million.
The widening vaccination coverage in the country has been cited as among key reasons for the decline in new infections observed since last month.
The Philippines has recorded a total of 2,829,618 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Thursday, of which, 17,796 are active.
— Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News