The government of Brunei donated 2,000 doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to the Philippines on Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 20.
The vaccines arrived onboard a Royal Brunei Airlines aircraft via flight BI 683 around 2:10 p.m. The plane landed on Terminal 1 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The shipment was welcomed by Dr. Ted Herbosa, special adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19; Dr. Ma.Paz Corrales, NTF medical consultant; Brunei Ambassador Johariah Wahab, Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Sec. Christopher Montero, and Dr. Joel Buenaventura, of the Department of Health (DOH).
Herbosa thanked the government of Brunei for extending their hands to the Philippines amid the pandemic.
“I think this is just a protion of another donation that is coming as well. Parang 20 [thousand] yata ‘yong additional vaccines na nacommit (I think about 20 [thousand] additional vaccines were committed [by Brunei]),” Herbosa said.
Herbosa said the AstraZeneca vaccines will be used in the inoculation of the general population outside Metro Manila.
“Medyo nagutos na ang Pangulo na talagang bilisan ang pag-administer sa local. Iyan ang tinututukan ng vaccine czar [Carlito Galvez Jr.] kung paano mapapabilis ang pag-administer sa lahat ng Pilipino (President [Duterte] directed us to speed up the administration in the local [government units]. That’s what the vaccine czar is focusing now, how to accelerate the administration to all Filipinos),” he stated.
During the Talk to the People public address of President Duterte on Tuesday night, Galvez said he intends to raise the daily vaccination througput to 1.5 million doses.
With the donations of Brunei, there were now 91,548,620 doses of COVID-19 vaccines that have arrived in the country, of which, around 52.78 million doses have been deployed nationwide.
More than 24.49 million Filipinos have bene fully vaccinated, representing 31.76 percent of the 77 million eligible Filipinos that are targete to be vaccinated before the end of 2021 to achieve herd immunity. Meanwhile, 28.28 million have received their first dose.