Sinovac shipment stuck in storage until drugmaker sends missing document
Another 1 million doses of China’s Sinovac CoronaVac vaccines arrive on June 10, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.
National Task Force against COVID-19

Sinovac shipment stuck in storage until drugmaker sends missing document

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - June 14, 2021 - 12:15pm

MANILA, Philippines — The latest shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses procured from China’s Sinovac Biotech has yet to be distributed pending the drugmaker's submission of a necessary document.

A million doses of Sinovac’s two-dose CoronaVac arrived in the country last week. The delivery raised the total number of CoronaVac doses received by the Philippines to 7.5 million, including a million doses donated by Beijing.

But in a briefing Monday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the agency has yet to receive a certificate of analysis (COA) from Sinovac Biotech, delaying the delivery of shots to vaccination sites.

A certificate of analysis is one of the documents required by the country’s Food and Drug Administration.

"We cannot distribute or transport these vaccines to specific recipients in the regions, local governments if the document is incomplete. So we are waiting for the COA to be sent to us so we can already distribute Sinovac doses," Vergeire said in a mix of English and Filipino. 

Meanwhile, Vergeire said the government has begun the distribution of the 2.27 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that arrived in the country last week. The Pfizer shots were donated by the global vaccine sharing COVAX facility. 

Sixty percent of the latest shipment will be deployed to regions with high burden of cases, while the remaining 40% will be sent to areas in the so-called “NCR Plus 8.”

Only 1.55% of the country’s roughly 110 million population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 4.26% have received the first of two doses of the vaccine. 

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