China delivers Philippine government-purchased Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines
MANILA – The Philippine government received the first one million doses of Sinovac vaccines brought by Philippine Air Lines at 5:15 P.M. today with President Rodrigo Duterte, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. and Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian.
The one million doses were the first batch of 25 million doses of CoronaVac the Philippine government bought. A Philippine Air Lines all-cargo flight landed at 4:04 P.M.
At the Villamor Air Base, President Duterte, Ambassador Huang and other Philippine government officials welcomed the shipment. President Duterte placed the “Resbakuna” sticker in one of the vaccine crates.
Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, in his statement sent to the media, said China is working to promote mass vaccination and plans to inoculate over 500 million of its citizens during the first semester of 2021.
He added despite the domestic need and limited vaccine supply, China has donated vaccines to the Philippines and has prioritized the country’s vaccine procurement.
“China now is the first and only country to provide vaccines to the Philippines through both donation and commercial procurement, which is a testament to our traditional friendship with solidarity and closer partnership in the new ear,” the Chinese ambassador said.
He added the safety and effectiveness of Sinovac are earning growing confidence among Filipinos thus “making it the mainstay of nationwide vaccination in the country.”
“Still more Chinese vaccines will come soon as expected to help the Philippines defeat the virus and normalize its economy,” he further explained.
Earlier in the day, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the one million doses costs P700 million. The vaccines will be given to health workers in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Cebu and Davao Cities.
The Philippines has already bought 25 million doses of CoronaVac. There will be deliveries in the near future, Secretary Roque added. (Melo M. Acuña)
(Screen grab from RTVM/PTV4/PCOO coverage on the arrival of a million doses of Sinovac vaccines at Villamor Air Base/Melo M. Acuna)