Later this month, the Philippines expects to receive more than two million doses of the Sinovac Biotech and AstraZeneca vaccines against COVID-19, the country’s vaccine czar said on Monday, March 15.
In his report to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said 1.4 million doses of Sinovac Biotech’s vaccine and almost a million doses from AstraZeneca will be delivered to the country within the month or in early April.
“Sir, for this month of March, we will be expecting more or less 2.3 million vaccines. It will be coming from Sinovac, 400,000 from the Chinese donation. And then also we are working on the procurement through DOH, the one million Sinovac. So a total of 1.4 (million) Sinovac vaccines,” said Galvez.
“And we have an information from WHO that we might be receiving almost a million of AstraZeneca also within this month or maybe early April, with 979,200 AstraZeneca,” he added.
During his public address, President Duterte asked for patience, saying the government still don’t have enough inventory because the vaccines lined up for procurement hasn’t arrived yet except for those donated by China and the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.
“Mga kababayan ko, hanggang ngayon wala pa tayong sobra. Ibig sabihin walang dumating except those donated. Iyong ginawang donasyon lang ng China pati sa WHO. Walang bayad ‘yon,” said President Duterte.
The President also challenged his critics saying his government will honor deals for vaccine supply if they could secure any from vaccine manufacturers.
The Philippines started its COVID-19 vaccine rollout last March 1 following the arrival of Sinovac Biotech vaccine as well as those from the COVAX facility.
China donated 600,000 doses of CoronaVac while the COVAX facility initially sent 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. This was followed by 38,400 doses that arrived on March 7.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported that the government has so far administered a total of 193,492 COVID-19 vaccine doses since it began inoculating the country’s frontliners on March 1.