PH receives AstraZeneca vaccines donated by Poland

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 28) — The country received more than half a million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Poland on Sunday, the first donation from the European country, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr.

The 547,100 shots arrived past four in the afternoon at Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Polish chargé d'affaires to the Philippines Jaroslaw Szczepankiewicz said the donation was "an expression of solidarity of the Polish nation with the Filipino people."

He also appealed to those who have yet to be vaccinated to do so "as soon as possible for your own sake, for the sake of your families, and for the sake of your country."

Galvez welcomed the donation saying they would be given to those who need them.

"It can be given to the different LGUs who will ask for AstraZeneca and it will be used either for boosters or first dose or second dose," he said.

"Flexible tayo sa mga doses ng AstraZeneca na dumating ngayon, but mostly, ito ire-reserve na ito pagka once kailangan pa ng mga LGU na naubusan sila ng mga tinatawag na vaccine after the three-day vaccination program," Galvez added.

[Translation: We will be flexible with the AstraZeneca doses that arrived today, but mostly this will be reserved for LGUs who will need more after the three-day vaccination program.]

Galvez stressed the urgency of vaccinating the public, as cases have been rising in other countries due to the presence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

"Imminent 'yan, hindi natin maiiwasan 'yan. We can only delay for some time, but definitely pagka tinatamaan ang Europe, it will take two months or even lesser, nandito na sa atin 'yan," he said.

[Translation: It's imminent and we can't avoid it. We can only delay for some time, but definitely once it hits Europe, it will take two months or even less before it gets here.]