Second batch of Sinovac doses arrives in PH

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The second batch of Sinovac vaccines donated by China arrived in the Philippines on Wednesday, March 24.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 24) — The second batch of Sinovac vaccines donated by China arrived in the Philippines on Wednesday.

The 400,000 CoronaVac doses arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 at 7:17 a.m. via Philippine Airlines flight PR361, according to the government's Vaccination Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic team.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, National Task Force Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian were seen personally welcoming the arrival of the vaccines.

“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,” Duque said in a statement.

"Today, we are happy to have the second batch of the China-donated vaccines of 400,000 here in Manila.," Xilian told reporters. "We hope we will contribute to speeding up the mass vaccination in the country so that you will win over the war against the virus and recover the economy at an early date."

The Philippines previously received 600,000 donated Sinovac vaccines and 525,600 doses from British-Swedish manufacturer AstraZeneca through the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.

Between March 24 and March 26, over 979,200 more AstraZeneca doses via COVAX will be shipped to the country, officials said. One million more Sinovac doses purchased by the Philippine government are also expected to arrive on March 29.

At least 408,995 Filipinos — mostly healthcare workers — received their COVID-19 shots to date, according to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.