Duterte wants portion of China’s donated Sinovac vaccines to go to military, police
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed that a portion of the donated Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine doses from China would be given to the members of the military and police.
This was according to Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who was the President’s long-time aide.
“…‘Yung donasyon ng bansang Tsina — ito pong Sinovac…pinagbilin po ni Pangulong Duterte na ilan po dito sa mga donated doses mula sa Tsina ay bibigyan po ng prayoridad ang ating mga sundalo at mga kapulisan dahil kabilang rin po sila sa ating mga itinuturing na frontliners,” Go said in a statement sent to reporters Wednesday.
(…The donation from China—Sinovac…President Duterte ordered that a portion of this would be given to the military and the policy since they are also considered as frontliners.)
During his visit to Manila last month, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing will donate 500,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines to the Philippines.
The Department of Health (DOH) previously had said that it would wait for the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization before accepting and using the coronavirus vaccines that would be donated by China.
So far, the only vaccine that was given EUA by the FDA is the one developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
The EUA application of China’s Sinovac Biotech is currently being evaluated by the FDA.
Go, who chairs the Senate health committee, meanwhile, said that the government is now finalizing documentary requirements for the supply of AztraZeneca vaccine doses as part of the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.
“Ayon po kay Secretary [vaccine czar] Galvez ay inaayos na po ‘yung mga papeles ng AstraZeneca vaccines na mula po sa COVAX,” he said.
(According to Secretary Galvez they are ironing out some documents for the AztraZeneca vaccine supply through the COVAX facility.)
“Meron lang pong dapat na i-comply ang ating gobyerno at may phases po ito na darating sa ating bansa at nabalitaan ko po na una pong darating ang mula sa Pfizer. Part rin po ito ng COVAX rin po,” he added.
(They have to comply with a requirement and the vaccine will arrive in phases and from what I heard, it’s the vaccine from Pfizer that will first arrive. This is also part of the COVAX facility.)
Prioritize athletes, too
The senator, who also serves as chair of the Senate sports panel, also called for the prioritization of Filipino athletes.
“Bigyan rin po dapat ng prayoridad ang ating mga atleta na nagbibigay karangalan sa ating bansa at mag-uumpisa na po ang kanilang mga training,” Go said.
(We should also give priority to Filipino athletes who continue to give honor to the Philippines, their training has already started.)
“Marami rin po ang apektado sa ating mga atleta at tatandaan natin, lahat po sila ay may pamilya rin pong pinapakain. Salamat po,” he added.
(Our athletes may also be affected and we should remember that they also have families to feed.)
Earlier, Malacañang said the first batch of vaccines through the COVAX facility would arrive in the country in mid-February but the exact date has yet to be confirmed.
The Philippines is expected to receive 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine in mid-February, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said, while over 5.5 million to 9.2 million doses AstraZeneca is expected by mid to late February.
Health care workers from four Covid-19 referral hospitals in Metro Manila — Philippine General Hospital in Manila, Lung Center of the Philippines and East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City, and Dr. Jose Natalio Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center (Tala Hospital) in Caloocan City — will be the first to get shots.
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