PH gets over 2M AstraZeneca, 170,000 Sputnik vaccine doses

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 9)— The country received over two million more AstraZeneca vaccines and 170,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

The 2,028,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility arrived past 4 p.m. Friday at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and was welcomed by officials, including Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez and WHO country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe.

Galvez said 1.5-million of these newly arrived vaccines will be allotted for the second doses of vaccinated individuals in May and June.

He added that the remaining 500,000 AstraZeneca shots will be distributed to regions with large populations of unvaccinated persons belonging to the A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidities) priority groups.

"Our vaccine supply from COVAX will be utilized for our vulnerable sector, A1 (healthcare workers and their families), A2, and A3, while prioritizing those vulnerable communities in different regions," Galvez said.

The Philippines has so far received a total of 5,708,100 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the British-Swedish manufacturer.

Of this number, 4,584,000 were from COVAX — a global initiative that aims to give participating countries equitable access to coronavirus vaccines.

The country also received 1,124,100 AstraZeneca doses donated by the Japanese government - with the shipment delivered Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, 170,000 Sputnik V vaccine doses arrived in the country on two separate days.

The first 132,200 doses arrived at NAIA Terminal 3 at 10:45 p.m. on Friday via Qatar Airways flight. The remaining 37,800 shots arrived past 9:30 p.m. on Saturday via Korean Air flight.

Galvez said the Russian-made vaccines arrived in two batches because a commercial flight cannot handle a huge number of doses.

The shipment was supposed to arrive last July 7 but was delayed due to logistical issues, Galvez noted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier promised an increase in vaccine deliveries to the Philippines. He made the assurance during his virtual summit with President Rodrigo Duterte to mark the 45th year of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Russia on June 3.