3M more Sinovac vaccines arrive in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 19) — More government-procured vaccines arrived in the country on Sunday to bolster the fight against COVID-19.

Three million doses of Sinovac arrived at Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 6:04 p.m. via flight PR 359. The cargo was welcomed by vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr.

Speaking during the shipment’s arrival, Galvez said most of the vaccines will be distributed to Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Davao Region as first doses and as second doses in the National Capital Region.

To date, Galvez said 18,475,950 million Filipinos are now fully vaccinated.

Galvez also responded to an earlier comment by Vice President Leni Robredo that vaccine distribution in the country remains slow.

"Mabagal, in the sense na halos 58 million (doses) na ang dumating pero 17 million pa lang ang nababakunahan," she said during her weekly radio show on Sunday.

[Translation: It is slow, in the sense that almost 58 million doses have arrived but only 17 million people have been vaccinated.]

"Madam...hindi po ganoon ang pag-compute ng pagbabakuna. Hindi po natin iko-compute na kunyari 60 million ang ating delivery ay idi-divide natin agad...Kailangan alalahanin po natin na regimen and protocol sa tinatawag na second dosing," Galvez said.

[Translation: Madam...that’s not the way to compute. If 60 million vaccines arrive we cannot just divide it immediately...We have to remember the regimen and protocol when it comes to second dosing.]

Galvez added that challenges in vaccine distribution must also be taken into consideration.