PAL to airlift 400,000 CoronaVac vaccines from China to PH — Locsin

Published March 13, 2021, 1:55 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The Philippines can expect more donated coronavirus vaccines from China.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

As the nation battles the spread of the coronavirus, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. announced Saturday that China plans to give an additional 400,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines to the Philippines through President Duterte. The donation will be transported by the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines, according to Locsin.

China previously donated 600,000 doses of vaccines developed by Sinovac Biotech to the Philippines as part of the two countries’ friendship and partnership in battling the coronavirus pandemic. The life-saving vaccines were delivered by a Chinese military cargo aircraft to Manila on Feb. 28, that paved the way for the vaccine rollout in the country next day.

“China intends to donate 400,000 doses of CoronaVac to Rodrigo Duterte to be received under the same EUA (emergency use authorization) as the first donation plus a new EUA,” Locsin tweeted Saturday, March 12.

“@flyPAL will airlift the donations. Getting authority from (the) Palace to accept the donation,” he said.

In his visit to Valenzuela City March 4, the President first revealed about China’s offer to donate 400,000 coronavirus vaccines to the Philippines. He noted that China’s gesture will bring its total donated vaccines to one million.

Duterte has expressed gratitude to China for sending vaccines to the Philippines, saying he plans to visit Beijing to personally thank Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Although CoronaVac vaccines have arrived in the country, the President has publicly expressed preference for another Chinese-developed drug — Sinopharm. The 75-year-old leader said his doctor has advised him to wait for the vaccine that would be suitable for his age.

The Palace said the President was waiting for the emergency use approval to be given to Sinopharm before getting vaccinated.