Villamor Airbase, Pasay City — The first batch of anti-COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the Philippines on Sunday, February 28, signalling the start of the country’s national immunization program.
Officials from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of National Defense (DND) officially received the 600,000 vaccine doses donated by the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines.
The vaccine had already been issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week, which guarantees its safety and efficacy.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and other high-ranking cabinet officials were also present to witness the arrival of the vaccines and take part in their inspection before they were brought to the storage facilities.
Sec. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar, said that the vaccine rollout has officially begun upon the receipt of the vaccines.
“The Philippines will officially begin its vaccine rollout (February 28). The actual inoculation program will start on Monday (March 1) at PGH, and other hospitals,” Galvez said.
The second wave of vaccinations will commence upon the delivery of vaccines coming from the COVAX facility which are expected to arrive in the second quarter of this year.
The Philippine Government continues to negotiate supply agreements with multiple manufacturers with the hope that they immediately apply for an EUA with the FDA in order to hasten deployment of the vaccines.
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