As the demand for COVID-19 vaccines increases across different regions, the Philippines today received 400,000 additional CoronaVac doses donated by the People’s Republic of China, in addition to the initial 600,000 doses that arrived last February 28.

Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF) Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ambassador Huang Xilian and other officials from the Inter-Agency Task Group (IATF) and Department of Health (DOH) welcomed the arrival of the additional donated CoronaVac doses at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“We are grateful for the arrival of additional donated vaccines. The arrival of these vaccines could not have occurred at a more opportune time considering the continued rise in cases, which in turn increases the need to inoculate more high-risk individuals as soon as possible,” said Sec. Duque.

The additional donated CoronaVac vaccines will be instrumental in the country’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination program, especially at this moment when a persistent increase in cases is being observed. While initial doses from Sinovac and AstraZeneca are currently being rolled out in the county, NTF Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Sec. Carlito G. Galvez Jr. is keen on the ongoing negotiations with different pharmaceutical companies, all towards ensuring that the country secures enough doses to vaccinate 70 million of the population in order to achieve herd immunity.

“The arrival of these donated vaccines from China is a testament that when all nations are working together, we can surmount any challenges ahead. The Philippine government will continue to strengthen its collaboration with China to finally put an end to this pandemic,” Sec. Galvez said.

With the arrival of additional vaccine doses in the country, the Department of Health also reiterated that the existing prioritization framework must be maintained. “We shall see to it that all of our healthcare workers, not just in the National Capital Region but in the whole country, are given the protection they need and deserve for being at the forefront of the battle against the virus,” Sec. Duque said.

Moreover, the country is expecting to receive almost 2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of the month through the government’s negotiations with Sinovac and through the WHO-led COVAX Facility. One million of which are procured from China’s Sinovac, while the remaining 979,200 doses are the additional donated AstraZeneca doses through COVAX Facility.