A shipment containing 525,600 doses of vaccines from India-based AztraZeneca is expected to arrive in the Philippines on Monday, March 1.
This was disclosed by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go in a radio interview Saturday, February 27, quoting Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. The AztraZeneca vaccines were procured through COVAX Facility led by the the World Health Organization, he said.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque later confirmed this information.
“Another good news, ang inaantay natin ang bakuna mula sa COVAX — sabi nila itong Sinovac, ‘yong iba po ay alanganin — ang importante may darating din po na bakuna mula po sa COVAX darating rin po sa Lunes (the vaccines that we are waiting from COVAX — since some are doubting Sinovac — what’s important is that the vaccines from COVAX are arriving on Monday,” Go, who was former special assistant and close ally to President Duterte, told radio DWIZ.
“Nagkausap kami ni Sec. Galvez ang darating po ay 525,600 AstraZeneca vaccines (Sec. Galvez and I talked and he said that 525,600 vaccines will arrive),” he added.
Go, Senate health committee chairman, said that with the dleivery of AztraZeneca vaccines, health frontliners and other priority sectors in the government’s vaccination program will now have a choice on what vaccines to receive.
The senator’s announcement comes as 600,000 doses of vaccines from Chinese firm Sinovac are set to be delivered on Sunday, February 28.
Duterte will personally witness the arrival of the vaccines delivered by the Chinese government to the Philippines.
Galvez also gave independent confirmation to the Manila Bulletin about the AstraZeneca vaccines’ arrival on Monday.
According to Galvez, the AstraZeneca jabs will arrive around noon.
The COVAX Facility, which the Philippines is part of, aims to ensure that all countries will have an equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The delivery of the AstraZeneca jabs forms part of the 44 million doses secured by the national government via the COVAX Facility to inoculate 20 percent of the country’s population.
If the national government’s priority list will be followed, medical frontliners are expected to be the first recipients of the vaccines, followed by senior citizens, people with comorbidities, and other frontliners such as the uniformed personnel.
The delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines gave a glimmer of hope to the country’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as neighboring countries in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) have already started the rollout of their natioanal vaccination program. (with reports from Martin A. Sadongdong)