Fresh batch of 1.5M Sinovac jabs push PH vaccine supply to over 5.5M

Published May 7, 2021, 11:14 AM

by Martin Sadongdong

The fifth batch of government-procured vaccines from China arrived in the country on Friday morning, May 7, with the delivery of 1.5 million doses of CoronaVac from its manufacturer Sinovac Biotech.

National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Sec. Francisco Duque III witness the arrival of 1.5 million doses of CoronaVac vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Pasay City on May 7, 2021. (Photos from the National Task Force Against COVID-19)

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, said this raised the Philippines’ total vaccine supply to 5,540,600 doses.

A commercial flight from Cebu Pacific, which fetched the vaccines from China, landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City at 7:59 a.m., the NTF said. Galvez and Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III witnessed the arrival of the cargo.

Galvez said the vaccines were brought to a cold strage facility of third-party logistics provider Pharmaserv Express in Marikina City. It will then be distributed to the intended hospitals in the country, including those in Metro Manila where vaccination is being ramped up in order to achieve herd immunity at the soonest time possible.

He said 800,000 doses of the recently delivered Sinovac vaccines will be allocated to hospitals in the metropolis.

This is the biggest one-time delivery of CoronaVac jabs to the country so far. The first four deliveries were only composed of 500,000 to one million doses.

The delivery was part of the 25 million doses of Sinovac vaccines that were purchased by the national government from China.

The first batch of one million doses was received on March 29. It was followed by three batches of 500,000 doses each on April 11, April 22, and April 29.

Prior to this, the Chinese government also donated a combined one million doses of the same vaccine on February 28 (600,000 doses) and March 24 (400,000 doses).

In total, there are now five million doses of Sinovac in the local vaccine supply. Also included in the supply are 525,600 doses from British-Swedish manufacturer AstraZeneca and 15,000 doses of the Sputnik V brand from Russia.