CARGO INSPECTION. Bureau of Customs and Department of Health personnel inspect some of the shipment of 3 million doses of government-procured Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine that arrived at the NAIA Terminal 2 in Pasay City on Wednesday (Nov. 10, 2021). The Philippines has now received a total of 50.5 million Sinovac jabs. (PNA photo by Joey O. Razon)

MANILA – The total doses of China’s Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine delivered in the Philippines reached 50,500,000 after receiving additional 3 million jabs procured by the government on Wednesday.

Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, head of the strategic communications on current operations of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19, welcomed the arrival of the new shipment of Sinovac vaccine at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 in Pasay City.

He said the country has so far received over 117 million vaccines from seven manufacturers.

“With the arrival of the 3 million vaccines of Sinovac, we now have a total of 117 million more doses of vaccines in our inventory that arrived in the country,” Mayor said in a media interview.

Mayor said the additional vaccines will be used to boost the inoculation drive in different regions of the country.

“We will deploy these vaccines to all regions that need vaccines,” he said.

He renewed his appeal to the people who have yet to receive vaccine to get inoculated to protect themselves from pandemics.

“So, again we call on fellow Filipinos who have not yet been vaccinated to get vaccinated because all of the seven vaccines (brands) that are now in the country are safe and effective against Covid 19,” he said.

Aside from Sinovac, the NTF said other brands delivered in the country are: 16,103,640 doses of AstraZeneca; 32,120,010 doses of Pfizer; 3,240,850 doses of J&J; 9,985,900 doses of Moderna; 7,195,000 doses Sputnik V and 1,100,000 doses of Sinopharm,

Germany’s donation through COVAX

On Tuesday night, the Philippines received 793,900 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the German government through Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access or COVAX Facility.

In an interview during the arrival at the NAIA Terminal 3, German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel said the second batch of donations from Germany is only part of the “steady supply” of vaccines in the country.

“It is very necessary to have such a steady supply because we need to speed up the vaccination campaign rollout for minors but also to speed up boosters,” Reiffenstuel said.

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. thanked the German government, the COVAX Initiative, the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Union (UN), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the donation, noting that the country will focus more on vaccinating more of the elderly population.

“Right now, we are at 59 percent coverage for the elderly and we will be focusing this month of November, we're trying to push for 70 percent coverage of all the elderly,” Galvez said.

By the end of the year, he said the country aims to vaccinate at least 70 million of the country’s 110 million population.

“We are trying to push the LGUs (local government units) to ramp up their vaccination and we hope that this coming national vaccination day, we will be able to generate more or less 10 to 15 million of vaccine administration,” Galvez said.

WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said the donated vaccine doses will be particularly useful in vaccinating people outside the Metro Manila.

With the steady supply of Covid-19 vaccine doses, he urged LGUs to ensure the fast rollout of vaccines “so that more Filipinos are protected.” (PNA)