COVID-19 vaccines ordered by gov’t have not arrived, Duterte says
MANILA, Philippines — None of the COVID-19 vaccines ordered by the government have been delivered, President Rodrigo Duterte admitted in a televised pre-recorded briefing on Wednesday.
The first batch of the ordered vaccines will arrive sometime next week or at least within this month.
“Where are the vaccines? None. There are [vaccines], but they’re not yet paid for by the people. Just to complete the story: There are none yet and up to this time, there is no vaccine that we bought that has arrived. I pray it would happen within the month of March,” Duterte said, speaking partly in Filipino.
The Philippines’ current vaccine supply consists of donations — Sinovac’s CoronaVac from China and AstraZeneca from the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization.
COVAX stands for COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access.
One million more doses of CoronaVac ordered by the national government will arrive on March 29.
Earlier, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the country’s vaccine manager, said the government had already made a partial payment for these doses.
In his previous briefing, Duterte quashed any suspicion of corruption in the procurement of vaccines, saying that the approved loans were still in lending banks and not the government.
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