BOC clears second batch of AstraZeneca jabs

Published March 8, 2021, 12:48 PM

by Ariel Fernandez

The Bureau of Customs at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC-NAIA) has processed the clearance of the second tranche of AstraZeneca vaccines composed of 38,400 vials.

(Photo by Fred SCHEIBER / AFP)

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) jabs–part of the supply secured by the Philippine government via the COVAX facility–were flown in the country Sunday night, March 7, aboard a Royal Dutch KLM airline from Amsterdam.

Similar to the first tranche of 487,200 AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived last Thursday, the second importation underwent advance processing at the BOC-NAIA One-Stop-Shop and were immediately released upon arrival.

The expeditious and seamless clearance process was the result of the month-long preparation of the BOC in active coordination with Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) through meetings and simulations prior to the arrival of these vaccines.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero vowed that the BOC will be consistent in the facilitation of COVID-19 vaccines not only in the Port of NAIA but in all other ports and remain vigilant against possible smuggling of unregistered and fake vaccines.

Meanwhile, Port of NAIA District Collector Carmelita Talusan assured the public that the handling team is ready to facilitate the immediate release of COVID-19 vaccines as they arrive in efforts to fully supplement the ongoing vaccination program of the government.