More than 3.3 million doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines donated by the governments of US and France arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday morning.
The vaccines were flown in via Emirates Flight EK 334 that arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 before 7 a.m.
Of the vaccines that arrived Tuesday, 1,623,960 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine were donated by the US government through the COVAX facility.
“We’re very, very happy that the Philippines continues to benefit from COVAX deliveries. With 53 million vaccine doses that arrived, 22 million of those doses were donated directly by the United States,” said Allyson Gardner, 1st Secretary of USAID of the US Embassy.
Meanwhile, the remaining 1,697,000 doses were of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by the French government also through COVAX.
National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 medical consultant Dr. Paz Corrales said that a number of these vaccines will be transported to the Visayas with the help of uniformed personnel to continue the vaccination program there.
“Ito rin po ay nais nating makamit nga kahit tayo ay may kapwa Pilipino na natamaan at nasalanta dahil sa nakaraang bagyo,” Corrales added.
(We want to achieve this even if some of our fellow Filipinos were affected by Typhoon Odette.)
She said health personnel were deployed in Typhoon Odette-stricken areas such as Siargao to give basic health services.
“Ito rin ay maaaring tumulong sa tinatawag nating booster vaccination na added protection sa atin lalong lalo na po’t may Omicron na variant,” Corrales added.
(This could also help with our booster vaccination that gives added protection especially now that the Omicron variant is here.)
Meanwhile, some more vaccines are expected to arrive within the day.
These are 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by the government of Argentina, and 1,358,600 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine procured by the private sector.
Including all the vaccines arriving on Tuesday, December 21, the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses the Philippines has received is 192,344,945 doses so far, the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said in a message to reporters. —With a report from Giselle Ombay/KG, GMA News