Pres. Duterte to welcome arrival of 525,600 doses of AstraZenica vaccines in PH

By Ma. Alaine P. Allanigue

QUEZON CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA) — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, March 1, is set to personally welcome the arrival of around 525,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go told members of media, Saturday evening.

In a text message, Go said the President will also lead the simple turnover ceremony for the AstraZeneca vaccines, as the country is also expected to have access to up to 9.2 million jabs from the British–Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, for his part, said the Philippines will receive the AstraZeneca vaccines through the Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility, a global initiative that guarantees access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

“We are pleased to inform you that the Philippines will receive 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on Monday, March 1, 2021, around noontime, as part of the first round of allocated doses from the COVAX facility,” Roque said in a press statement sent to PIA-NCR.

The AstraZeneca vaccines that will arrive in the Philippines form part of the 44 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX to inoculate 20 percent of the country’s population, the official said.

Roque, meanwhile, thanked the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca. The COVAX Facility is co-led by WHO, GAVI, and CEPI.

“We are grateful to everyone, from our medical front-liners to our fellow Filipinos and foreign partners, who stand by us in this challenging time. Together, we will heal and recover as one nation and one people,” Roque said.

The AstraZeneca-developed shots will be delivered just a day after the Philippines is also scheduled to receive the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech.

Duterte is set to physically receive this afternoon the much-awaited, very first batch of 600,000 doses of Sinovac-made CoronaVac vaccine donated by China at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City. He would also lead the simple turnover of the 600,000 doses of the CoronaVac vaccine to the country’s storage facilities.

The government efforts have resulted to the Philippines receiving some 44 million COVID-19 vaccine doses allocated by the COVAX Facility within the year. (PIA NCR)