The United States donated 918,450 doses of Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to the Philippines on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 10, through the global vaccine sharing initiative of COVAX facility.
The vaccine shots arrived at Terminal 3 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) around 4:15 p.m. onboard Emirates Airlines flight EK332.
Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, said the two-dose vaccines will help the government to inoculate 459,225 Filipinos.
“More or less 500,000 Filipinos will get vaccinated from these life-saving vaccines. We really [are] thanking the United States government for their act of generosity and compassion for the Philippines,” he told reporters at the airport.
US Charge d’Affaires Heather Variava was elated that more vaccines are now coming into the country especially since the pilot implementation of the vaccination of children and adolescents aged 12 to 17 will begin on Oct. 15.
“We’re really proud to be part of this effort here in the Philippines, to vaccinate the Filipino people including soon teenagers and children so we can get them back to school,” she said.
The US diplomat said around 1.8 million doses from the COVAX facility will arrive in the country this week, including Sunday’s donations. On Monday afternoon, 924,300 doses more of US-donated Pfizer vaccines will also be transported to Manila while 272,610 doses of Pfizer jabs that were purchased by the government will be delivered on Monday night.
The country’s total vaccine supply now reached 86,494,050 doses and is set to further increase to more than 100 million doses by the end of October.