The Department of Health (DOH) is hopeful that coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines made by British drugmaker AstraZeneca will be delivered to the country on Monday, March 8.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday, March 3, said AstraZeneca will likely be the next vaccine brand that will be shipped to the Philippines. The AstraZeneca vaccines will be supplied by the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX facility.
A total of 525,600 AstraZeneca vaccines were supposed to arrive in the Philippines last March 1 but the shipment was delayed due to logistical concerns, said WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe in a television interview on Tuesday, March 2.
“Ang malamang na susunod (na dumating) hopefully AstraZeneca. Dapat nga Lunes dumating kaso naudlot. Sabi naman ng UNICEF baka daw isang linggo maantala (Probably, the next to come— hopefully is AstraZeneca. It was supposed to arrive last Monday but was delayed. UNICEF said it might be delayed for a week),” said Duque during a press conference at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City.
“Hopefully, dumating ito next Monday para tuloy-tuloy ang ating pagbabakuna at makumpleto na natin ang healthcare workers inoculation. Iyan at senior citizens ang dalawang grupong pinamahalagang mabakunahan kaagaran (Hopefully, this will arrive next Monday so that our vaccination will be continuous and for us to complete the inoculation of our healthcare workers. The healthcare workers and senior citizens are two most important groups that need to be vaccinated immediately),” he added.
On the first day of the country’s vaccination program, at least 756 frontline healthcare workers from six hospitals in Metro Manila received the Sinovac vaccine, the DOH said.