Govt. receives 3.1 million more Sinovac, J&J vaccine doses

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 17) — The country received 3.1 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses on Saturday — 1.5 million government-procured Sinovac shots and 1.6 million Johnson & Johnson doses donated by the United States.

Officials expected the arrival of a total of 2.5 million Sinovac doses this week. One million doses arrived on Wednesday. This latest delivery brings to 14.5 million the total Sinovac doses shipped to the country, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said in a statement. The supply includes donation from the Chinese government and those procured by the private sector and local governments, it added.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez previously said this additional supply will likely be used for the second dose. Experts urged people to get vaccinated as well as complete the recommended doses in the wake of local cases of the feared Delta coronavirus variant first discovered in India.

At 4:17 p.m., the second expected batch of the Janssen vaccine arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The government received 1,606,600 doses on top of the first batch that came on Friday. A total of 3,213,200 Janssen shots arrived in the country this week.

Among the guests who personally welcomed the recent delivery were U.S. Embassy Chargé d'Affaires John Law, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, and National Economic and Development Authority chief Karl Chua.

Chua said areas that are classified as high risk, as well as those under the strictest form of quarantine will be prioritized for the distribution of the newly acquired shots in order to "improve consumer confidence" and allow the economy to reopen. On Wednesday, Galvez said senior citizens and persons with comorbidities will get the first grab.

Law also assured Filipinos there will be more donations from the United States in the "very, very near future."

A total of 16,790,240 vaccine doses will be delivered this month and another 16,570,000 in August, Galvez said.

He said around 14.4 million COVID-19 vaccines - 10.1 million as first shots and 4.3 million as second doses, were administered as of July 15.

The government aimed to inject 10 million doses in July, Galvez added. He said over 3.7 million doses were already given this month alone.