MANILA – The government is expecting the arrival of an additional 38,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVAX facility on March 7, National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Saturday.
“‘Yung darating po bukas ay more or less 38,400. Ito po yung kabuuan ng 525,600 ng AstraZeneca (Arriving tomorrow are more or less 38,400 doses, part of 525,600 AstraZeneca vaccines),” Galvez said in an interview shortly after the symbolic vaccination rollout of AstraZeneca jabs at the Ospital ng Parañaque.
On Thursday night, the initial 487,200 shots of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in the Philippines through the COVAX facility.
By the third week of March, 400,000 more doses of Sinovac vaccines will be delivered.
“So ngayon ang gagawin sa AstraZeneca, kung sino ‘yung mga hindi nabigyan ng Sinovac at saka willing magkaroon ng bakuna ay ‘yun po yung priority natin (We will prioritize the delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines to those who did not receive the Sinovac vaccines and are willing to get vaccinated),” Galvez said.
The government will also prioritize the local deployment of AstraZeneca vaccines to areas with a surge in new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections, including Calabarzon and Central Visayas, as well as the cities of Baguio and Davao.
“‘Yun ang priority natin na mabigyan ng mga bakuna, lalo na yung mga nakita natin na maraming new cases (Our priority is to give the vaccines to areas with a high number of new Covid-19 cases), ” he said.
Amid the limited global supply of Covid-19 vaccines, Galvez said the arrival of AstraZeneca and Sinovac jabs is a huge relief.
“Kasi nangako po ang Chinese embassy at saka Chinese government na mayroon pong parating na 400,000 na another donation para bubuuhin na lang nila na one million donation (As promised by the Chinese embassy and the Chinese government to complete one million doses, another 400,000 doses are set to arrive),” he said.
On top of the Chinese government’s donations, Galvez said the country’s procured Sinovac jabs would arrive by the end of March onwards. (PNA)