PH receives 1.5M Sinovac doses, more arriving on June 24

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 17) — The Philippines continued to bulk up its supply of COVID-19 vaccines made by Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech after 1.5 million doses arrived in the country on Thursday.

The shipment is the third batch of Sinovac vaccines to be delivered to the Philippines this month. One million more CoronaVac shots are arriving on June 24, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said.

The government expects to receive this month 4.5 million of the 6.5 million Sinovac shots it procured.

Among the latest batch of Sinovac vaccines, one million were procured by the government, while the remaining were purchased by the Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc.

In a statement, Galvez said most of the government purchased doses will be allocated in areas with “emerging and surging” number of infections. These include areas in the Visayas and Mindanao, namely Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur, General Santos, Dipolog, Cotabato City, Iloilo, Bacolod, Negros, Ormoc, Northern Samar, and Tacloban.

Luzon areas, like Isabela and Calabarzon, are also part of the priority list.

Meanwhile, FFCCCII President Henry Lim Bon Liong said half of their purchased vaccines will be distributed to provinces like Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Iloilo, and Dagupan, while the other half will be for Metro Manila.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said these coronavirus shots will be immediately deployed as the government waits for the vaccines’ certificate of analysis. He noted that regions have been instructed that administration will only start once this arrives, which is expected to be within three to four days.

This document being issued by the manufacturer certifies that the doses the country received are of good quality and have the same specifications with the doses that were granted emergency use authorization. This is also a pre-requisite prior to the administration of the vaccines.

The Department of Health on Monday said it has yet to distribute the one million Sinovac shots that were shipped last week pending the submission of the said document by the vaccine maker.