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Sinovac manufacturer says vaccines to arrive in Philippines by this week or next

Chinese  pharmaceutical firm Sinovac is now moving to deliver the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines by this week or next  following the grant of an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In a virtual briefing with presidential spokersperson Harry Roque Jr. on Wednesday, Sinovac Biotech general manager Helen Yang said the shipment of vaccines is expected soon.

"Actually, we are working very hard with our Philippine counterpart to prepare for delivery. The product has already been prepared so we just need to finalize the procedure... We will try our best to see whether we can deliver the product this week or next week. It will be very soon," she said.

The FDA does not recommend the vaccine for health workers due to its lower efficacy rate of 50.4% but said that it is best for healthy individuals aged 18 to 59. The drug regulator has since clarified that those who still want to avail of the vaccine may do so.

Sinovac is the third vaccine to secure an EUA after AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech.

The government has allocated P82.5 billion for the vaccination program — P70 billion from loans, P10 billion from the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, and P2.5 billion from the 2021 Department of Health (DOH) budget.—AOL, GMA News