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1.5M more Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses arrive in Philippines

A total of 1.5 million more doses of Sinovac's vaccine against COVID-19 have arrived in the Philippines, further boosting the country's supply, according to Ian Cruz's report on Unang Balita on Thursday.

The latest shipment included the 500,000 doses ordered by the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCI) — the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines ordered by the private sector to arrive in the Philippines.

The other 1 million doses, meanwhile, were ordered by the Philippine government. Bulk of these will be distributed to areas with high number of  COVID-19 cases, the report said.

With the arrival, the country now has 9 million doses of Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine called CoronaVac. These include the 1 million donated by the Chinese government.

Combined with the other brands of vaccines that have arrived, the Philippines has 13.2 million doses.

Based on Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) evaluation of Sinovac's vaccine, it has the following efficacy rates:

  • 65% to 91% among healthy individuals aged 18 to 59,
  • 50.4% for health workers, and
  • 51% to 52% on senior citizens or those aged 60 and above

Sinovac's vaccine is given in two doses.

The Philippines officially rolled out its vaccination program on March 1 but it has been hampered by supply problems.

The latest shipment arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via a chartered Cebu Pacific flight at 7:23 a.m. It was welcomed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez and FFCCCI officials. —KBK, GMA News