First shipment of COVID-19 vaccines for private sector arrives
A health worker shows a vial of Chinese Sinovac vaccine against Covid-19 coronavirus disease inside a movie theatre turned into a vaccination center in Taguig City suburban Manila on June 14, 2021.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

First shipment of COVID-19 vaccines for private sector arrives

(Philstar.com) - June 18, 2021 - 11:37am

MANILA, Philippines — The first shipment of coronavirus vaccines purchased for the private sector arrived yesterday via a Cebu Pacific flight.

The 500,000 doses of Sinovac's CoronaVac for private organizations arrived with the government's additional 1 million doses to augment its public inoculation drive.

READ: New batch of Sinovac COVID-19 jabs arrives in Philippines

Behind the maiden shipment of doses for companies was local biotechnology and pharmaceutical importer IP-Biotech Inc, which represented vaccine manufacturers Sinovac Life Sciences Ltd. in welcoming the shipment.

Enrique Gonzalez, chairman of IP-Biotech, thanked the national government for supporting the initiative. "The 500,000 doses mark the first arrival of privately procured vaccines in the Philippines. We hope to meaningfully contribute to the country's goal of reaching herd immunity at the soonest time," Gonzalez said.

From left: Secretary Carlos Galvez of NTF/OPAPP, Francis Chua and Cecilio Pedro of FFCCCII, Secretary Duque of the Department of Health, Henry Lim Bong Liong, president of the FFCCCII; distributor IP-Biotech Chairman Enrique Gonzalez and Vincent Lim, Mr Gan from FFCCCII.

The Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FFCCCII) and IP-Biotech had signed a tripartite agreement under Republic Act 11525 to import COVID-19 vaccines for free distribution to private sector employees and other personnel.

The partnership's network also made the enrollment of participating companies possible.

Joining the welcoming committee at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport yesterday were officials from the Department of Health. Department of Finance and the task force of vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. as well as leaders of FFCCCII.

IP-Biotech is also the exclusive importer and distributor of India-made Covaxin, another COVID-19 vaccine that has earned the Food and Drug Administration's emergency use stamp.

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