PH receives 1 million more Sinovac doses

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Courtesy: National Task Force Against COVID-19

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 5) — The country received one million more doses of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine Thursday night, as the government gears up to further accelerate its immunization program with the upcoming implementation of another lockdown in Metro Manila.

The government-procured supply arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via a Philippine Airlines flight, and was welcomed by COVID-19 pandemic task force chief implementer and Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr.

The shipment brings the country's total coronavirus shots to over 38.2 million, of which 20.5 million are Sinovac doses - including a million donated by Beijing.

Galvez said they are still waiting for the certificate of analysis of this batch - an important document that ensures the safety of the vaccines prior to distribution.

He also said the doses will be deployed to priority areas like the NCR Plus 8 (Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, Metro Davao, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Pampanga, and Rizal), Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo province and Iloilo City, Aklan, and the Ilocos Region.

In line with President Rodrigo Duterte's directive, areas that recorded Delta variant cases will also be prioritized, Galvez added.

The Sinovac vaccines arrived on the eve of the implementation of the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region amid rising COVID-19 cases possibly driven by the highly contagious variant.

The country has so far tallied 1,627,816 coronavirus infections, including 66,895 active cases - the highest count since May 3.

Meanwhile, over 10 million Filipinos are already fully vaccinated, but the number is still far from the year-end target of 70 million to achieve herd immunity.