MANILA – The Philippines is scheduled to receive the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines from United Kingdom’s (UK) AstraZeneca on Thursday, Malacañang announced on Wednesday.
“This is to confirm that the initial shipment of Astra Zeneca is set to arrive tomorrow,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
The Philippines was supposed to receive on March 1 around 525,600 doses of Covid-19 shots developed by AstraZeneca under Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility.
However, the arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines was delayed due to global supply issues.
In an interview, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go said around 487,000 doses of UK-manufactured vaccine is expected to arrive at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City at around 7:30 p.m. of Thursday.
Go said Duterte would lead the turnover rites for AstraZeneca vaccines.
“Sasalubungin po namin ito ni Pangulong Duterte mismo po sa Villamor Air Base. Para naman po makita ng taumbayan na si Pangulong Duterte mismo ay nagtitiwala na ang bakuna lamang po ang tanging susi para makabalik tayo sa normal na pamumuhay (President Duterte and I will witness the delivery of the vaccines at the Villamor Air Base. This is to show the public that President Duterte believes that the vaccines are key to restore our normal lives),” Go said.
The Philippines is set receive about 44 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine allocated by the COVAX Facility within the year.
The country is also expected to have access to up to 9.2 million AstraZeneca vaccines.
On Sunday, Duterte led the turnover ceremony for 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine donated by China to the Philippines.
The government’s goal is to vaccinate 50 million to 70 million Filipinos by the end of the year.
Go said Filipinos, especially front-liners, now have the option to choose between Sinovac and AstraZeneca.
“May good news na tayo, at least may choice na po ang mga Pilipino. May pagpipilian na sila. Halimbawa ikaw ay front-liner, ayaw mo ng Sinovac, meron nang AstraZeneca (It’s good news. Filipinos now have the choice to pick what vaccine they want. If you are front-liner and you want AstraZeneca, not Sinovac, you can do that),” he said. Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos / PNA – northboundasia.com