Over 9,000 soldiers have taken COVID-19 vaccine jabs
MANILA, Philippines — A total of 9,043 soldiers have so far been immunized against COVID-19 using CoronaVac, the vaccine developed by China-based Sinovac BioTech, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Thursday.
Lorenzana said the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) is using the 100,000 CoronaVac doses donated by the Chinese government, which arrived in the country last week.
He said the AFP is eyeing to vaccinate 25,000 more troops in the coming days.
“As of yesterday, 9,043 na yung nababakunahan at magbabakuna pa sila ng 25,000. Tuluy tuloy ito, araw-araw,” he said during a Laging Handa public briefing.
Lorenzana said many soldiers were initially hesitant to get vaccinated with CoronaVac but they eventually opted to get immunized due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
“Mayroon pang mga ayaw, pero karamihan doon sa mga umaayaw nung una ay pumapayag na dahil sa pag spike ng infection, medyo natakot siguro,” he said.
(There are some who are still hesitant but many of those who are initially hesitant eventually got vaccinated due to the spike of infections. Maybe they got scared.)
“Kumokonti na lang ‘yung ayaw, tingin ko ilang araw pa na mataas ‘yung impeksyon, wala na siguro tututol dyan sa Sinovac,” he added.
(The numbers of those who are hesitant are decreasing. I think in a few days more of rising infections, no more individuals will be hesitant against COVID-19.)
Vaccination is compulsory for members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Several members of the military have allegedly already been vaccinated against COVID-19 last year using “smuggled” vaccines from China, according to AFP chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana.
In December last year, President Rodrigo Duterte said several military personnel were already inoculated with a vaccine against COVID-19 developed by China’s Sinopharm, which then had yet to secure emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Two months later, the FDA issued a “compassionate use” license for 10,000 doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine, to be administered to the members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) and their wives.
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