MANILA - The Philippines on Tuesday night accepted 1,778,400 donated COVID-19 vaccine doses from the governments of Austria and Sweden.
The shipment of the additional single-shot Janssen vaccine, donated through the vaccine-sharing platform COVAX Facility, arrived in Manila via Royal Dutch Airlines flight KLM0803 past 7 p.m.
Of the newly delivered supply, 266,400 doses were donated by the Austrian government while 1,512,000 shots were from the Swedish government, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said.
Vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said the Johnson & Johnson vaccines would be allocated in areas that are "geographically challenged."
"Most of these vaccines that we will be having right now will be given to the regions with low vaccination coverage, particularly those vulnerable persons," Galvez explained.
"Yung priority natin sa Janssen... are the areas ng BARMM, Region 5, Region 12, and other areas in Davao City, lalo na yung mga sa tinatawag nating most geographically-isolated areas," he said.
(Our priority for the Janssen distribution are the areas of BARMM, Region 5, Region 12, and the areas we call geographically-isolated.)
The additional Janssen vaccines raise the country's deliveries to over 163.6 million, at least 123.2 million of which have already been distributed nationwide.
Earlier in the day, the country received 2 million donated Sinovac COVID-19 doses from China, as well as 2.4 million other vaccine shots manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.
Philippine authorities aim to fully inoculate at least 54 million people by the end of the year, to achieve protection from the respiratory disease especially amid the emergence of new variants, and to safely reopen the pandemic-battered economy.
Latest government data showed over 41.5 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while almost 55 million others have received their first dose.
More than 809,000 people, meanwhile, have received their boosters.
The number of those fully immunized from COVID-19 accounts for 53.82 of the high-end 77 million target, data collated by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group indicated.
The widening vaccination coverage in the country has been cited as main reason for the decline in new infections observed since October.
The more transmissible COVID-19 omicron variant has yet to be detected in the country.
- Reports from Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News