Pres. Duterte to physically welcome very first batch of Sinovac vaccines on Feb. 28
By Ma. Alaine P. Allanigue /PIA File photo
QUEZON CITY, Feb. 26 (PIA) — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is set to physically welcome the very first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in the country upon their scheduled arrival on Sunday, Feb. 28, at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
Duterte is expected to lead other Philippine government officials in welcoming the arrival of the much-awaited 600,000 doses of Sinovac-made vaccine CoronaVac donated by China.
The first delivery involves 600,000 doses aboard a military plane. Of this total, 100,000 have been reserved for the Philippine military.
“We expect that the delivery will arrive on Sunday,” concurrent Presidential and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said during a Malacañang press briefing.
After the arrival, the government is expected to begin its nationwide vaccine rollout on Monday, March 1, 2021. Prioritized in the rollout are frontline health workers, senior citizens, indigent population, and uniformed personnel.
The vaccine arrival event was also confirmed by Beijing through Huang Xilian, ambassador of China to the Philippines, as reported on Thursday by Chinese media Xinhua News.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed. The donation of vaccines is another testament to the solidarity as well as profound friendship and partnership between our two peoples and two countries,” Ambassador Huang Xilian said on Facebook.
“I want to thank all those who have worked so hard in order to make this happen! I hope the vaccines will help kick off Philippines’ mass inoculation campaign to curb the pandemic and allow Filipinos’ life to return to normal at the earliest,” Huang said.
“Our friendship and partnership amid this pandemic will continue to grow and prosper as we fight against the pandemic hand in hand!” Huang added.
The Philippines has earlier approved the emergency use of the Sinovac vaccine. (PIA NCR)