MANILA, Philippines —The first batch of Covid-19 jabs purchased by the government is set to arrive today with a total of one million doses of Sinovac vaccines.
Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is transporting the vaccines from Beijing to Manila where President Duterte who will be flying from Davao City will receive the vaccines at the Villamor Air Base this afternoon.
Amid the reimplementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila, arrival ceremonies were being arranged, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said last Saturday night.
PAL made its first international vaccine transport on March 24 carrying 400,000 Sinovac doses from China. This was the second batch of vaccines donated by the Chinese government to the Philippines.
Apart from the National Capital Region (NCR)-Plus bubble which includes Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, and Rizal, Vice President Leni Robredo said the government must dedicate the vaccines to other areas with high infection rates.
“I hope they will look at the data and allocate vaccines in other areas with a high incidence of COVID-19 outside the NCR-Plus,” Robredo said.
So far, the Philippines has received 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX, a global vaccine sharing scheme spearheaded by the World Health Organization.
To ensure the unhampered supply of vaccines from the COVAX Facility, WHO had set the priority of vaccinating medical frontliners, seniors, and those with comorbidities first.
Earlier, 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines were also donated by China, paving the way for the start of vaccine rollout in the country in the first week of this month.
Meanwhile, budget carrier Cebu Pacific said it would continue to operate its domestic and international flights as scheduled until April 4.
Following guidelines from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in view of the effect of ECQ on travel, both airlines were to issue appropriate announcements on their commercial flights.
Cebu Pacific said passengers are given the option to rebook for free, refund, or store the amount in a travel fund.