SOKOR VAX DONATION. A total of 539,430 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, donated by the South Korean government, arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Tuesday night (Nov. 30, 2021). Philippine vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., thanked the Korean government for their contribution to the country's fight against Covid-19. (PNA photo by Robert Oswald Alfiler)

MANILA – South Korea’s donation of 539,430 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine is timely and significant as it coincides with the  massive three-day vaccination campaign that aims to administer nine million doses across the country, National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said Tuesday.

“On behalf of the national government, we would like to thank the Korean government and the Korean people for their generosity and act of kindness. South Korea and the Philippines have had a strong relationship ever since and they’re helping us a lot,” Galvez told the representatives of the South Korean government during the arrival of the vaccine at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Inchul expressed hope that the contribution would “help a little bit the Philippine government's effort to fight the coronavirus.”

“This donation will also contribute to the existing friendship and cooperation between the two countries,” Inchul said.

Galvez noted that aside from the vaccine, the Korean government has also donated test kits and face masks during the onset of the pandemic.

South Korea gave a total of USD200 million support to the Philippines, from 2020 until 2021, to help the country fight the pandemic, he said.

Inchul said Korea would provide an additional USD100 million next year.

“We are now working also with Secretary Galvez to bring here about 34 to 35 cold trucks so that the remote areas will have better access to the vaccines,” he said.

The three-day vaccination campaign dubbed as "Bayanihan, Bakunahan" started last November 29 and ends December 1.

The government’s pandemic response task force is eyeing another round of the massive vaccination campaign from December 15 to 17 to ramp up inoculations and reach its target of vaccinating 54 million people by the end of the year. (PNA)