The Philippines on Wednesday received 100,000 doses of China-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine from the United Arab Emirates.
The shipment of the COVID-19 jabs arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport past 2 p.m.
Among the officials who welcomed the delivery were National Task Force against COVID-19 (NTF) Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor, UAE Embassy Acting Charge Affaires Khalid Alhajeri, and Bureau of International Health Cooperation Director IV Ma. Soledad Antonio.
At the sidelines of the arrival, Mayor said the newly-arrived jabs will be sent to areas where there is a spike of COVID-19 infections.
"Kung saan may surge ng cases ng COVID-19 doon natin ide-deploy dahil 'yun ang nangangailangan ng bakuna," Mayor told reporters.
(We will deploy the Sinopharm vaccines where there is a surge of COVID-19 cases since they are the ones who need the vaccines.)
In a press briefing after the arrival of Pfizer vaccines in Manila, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. revealed that the UAE-donated vaccines would be delivered most likely in the Bangsamoro regon.
"Most likely in BARMM area because the UAE community, they preferred it to be given to Muslim brothers," Galvez said when asked about the deployment of 100,000 Sinopharm vaccine shots.
According to the World Health Organization, the Sinopharm vaccine has an efficacy rate against COVID-19 of 79% while its efficacy against hospitalization is at 79%.
The Food and Drug Administration said the Philippines is also looking to purchase more Sinopharm vaccine.
In a previous Talk to the People, Galvez reported that 1 million Sinopharm doses donated by China are set to arrive in the Philippines on Aug. 21.—Consuelo Marquez/KG/AOL, GMA News