After a slight delay, the Philippines will finally receive its first batch of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines from the COVAX Facility on Monday, March 1, a day after the country gets 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines on Sunday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed that the Philippines is set to receive 525,600 doses of the British-Swedish vaccines at around 12:50 p.m. on Monday.
“We are pleased to inform [you] that the Philippines will receive 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on Monday, March 1, 2021, around noontime, as part of the first round of allocated doses from the COVAX Facility,” he said.
“This forms part of the 44 million doses of COVAX to inoculate 20 percent of our population,” he added.
President Duterte’s long-time aide Senator Bong Go confirmed that President Duterte will also be present during the arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccines at the Villamor Airbase.
The Philippines is set to receive a total of 5,500,800 to 9,290,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX Facility within the first half of the year. It was supposed to take place in the middle of February but got delayed due to the absence of an indemnity agreement.
In his statement, Roque thanked Filipinos and foreign partners for believing in the government as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are grateful to everyone — from our medical frontliners to our fellow Filipinos and foreign partners — who stand by us in this challenging time,” he said.
“Together, we will heal and recover as one nation and one people,” he added.
In particular, Roque extended the country’s gratitude to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the vaccines.
In a separate video announcement, Roque thanked British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce for facilitating the delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines.
“Nagpapasalamat po tayo kay Ambassador Pruce ng Engglatera dahil ang kanyang intercession po ang naging dahilan kung bakit napabilis ang pagdating ng AstraZeneca sa ating bansa (We would like to thank Ambassador Pruce of England because his intercession was the reason for the earlier arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccines in the country),” he said.
Aside from AstraZeneca, the Philippines is also set to receive 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility. However, there is no specific date of delivery yet.