539,430 doses of South Korean-donated AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines arrive in PH

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Tuesday received 539,430 more AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the South Korean government.

The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 said that the doses, carried by Air Hong Kong flight LD456, landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 around 8 p.m.

Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Inchul noted that the vaccine delivery is timely as the government is holding its three-day national vaccination drive from November 29 to December 1 which aims to inoculate nine million Filipinos.

“We are very happy today to be able to contribute our share of vaccines through what Secretary Galvez is doing. I think it is very timely and significant because it got here in the middle of the three-day national drive that ends tomorrow,” Kim said in an ambush interview.

“The Korean government hopes that with this contribution, we’ll be able to help a little bit the Philippine government’s efforts to fight the coronavirus and also that this donation will also contribute to the existing friendship and cooperation between our two countries,” he added.

Meanwhile, NTF Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., who welcomed the shipment, extended appreciation to the Korean government.

“On behalf of the national government, we would like to thank the Korean government and the Korean people for their generosity and act of kindness,” he said.

As of November 30, a total of 142,692,770 COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in the country since February.

Based on data from the National Vaccination Operations Center on November 29, some 36 million individuals are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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