Malacañang: Sinovac vaccines to arrive in PH on Feb. 28
MANILA, Philippines — More than half a million Covid-19 vaccine doses from China-based drugmaker Sinovac are expected to arrive in the country on Feb. 28, Malacañang announced Thursday.
“Tatlong tulog na lang po parating na po ang bakuna. Inaasahan na darating sa araw ng linggo, itong linggong ito, ang Sinovac, kaya excited na tayong lahat,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing.
(There are only three days left before we get Covid-19 vaccines. We expect that the vaccines from Sinovac will arrive this Sunday.)
The Chinese government has donated 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines to the Philippines, 100,000 of which are designated for the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
The doses were originally set to be delivered to the Philippines on Feb. 23, but the arrival was delayed on account of the issuance of the emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.
Government officials will physically welcome the much-awaited vaccines, Roque said.
He added that the government will only need one day to kickstart the vaccination program after the vaccine doses arrive.
“If it arrives on Sunday, if I’m not mistaken, then we can roll out on Monday dahil excited na ang maraming kababayan natin [because our countrymen are excited],” he said.
FDA Director-General Eric Domingo earlier said Sinovac’s efficacy rate ranged from 65.3% to 91.2%; however, its efficacy rate only stood at 50.4% among healthcare workers, making it not the best vaccine for them.
The vaccine should also only be administered to clinically healthy individuals aged 18 to 59 years old.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian said in a statement on Facebook that the delivery of the Sinovac vaccines is a testament to the “profound friendship and partnership” between China and the Philippines.
“It is a fine tradition between China and the Philippines to help each other in trying times. A friend in need is a friend indeed,” he said.
“I hope the vaccines will help kick off Philippines’ mass inoculation campaign to curb the pandemic and allow Filipinos’ life to return to normal at the earliest,” he added.
For its part, the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) said the rollout schedule of the vaccines is still on hold as immunization experts are still discussing the allocation of the 600,000 doses.
The DOH and NTF said the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) has yet to make an official recommendation to the government on how the Sinovac doses should be allocated.
“As of press time, specific details as to the allocation and subsequent rollout of the 600,000 donated Sinovac doses are still being evaluated pending the official recommendation of the NITAG,” they said in a joint statement.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.