PH receives over 500,000 COVID-19 vaccines from South Korea

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The country has received 539,430 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by South Korea. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 30) — The country has received 539,430 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by South Korea.

The plane carrying the coronavirus shots arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in Pasay City Tuesday evening.

Korea's Ambassador to the Philippines Kim In-chul accompanied vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. in welcoming the delivery.

"The Korean government hopes that with this contribution we'll be able to help a little bit the Philippine government's effort to fight the coronavirus and that this donation will also contribute to the existing friendship and cooperation between our two countries," the ambassador told reporters.

He said the Korean government has been assisting the Philippines in its fight against COVID-19 since the beginning - donating test kits and face masks, and even providing monetary support.

"We'll be doing it (donating cash) again next year," Kim pledged, adding that he and Galvez are also in talks about Korea donating 34 or 35 trucks to transport vaccines.

The delivery comes as the government is in the middle of a three-day national vaccination drive. Galvez said about 2.6 million shots were administered on Monday, the first day of the program - surpassing the previous one-day record of 1.2 million.

However, it still fell short of the government's initial 3 million one-day target. Galvez said he expects that more doses were given on the second day. The government aims to administer 9 million doses for the three-day event.