Philippines receives 739,200 Sinopharm jabs donated by China

Philippines receives 739,200 Sinopharm jabs donated by China
Screengrab shows shipment of Sinopharm vaccines that arrived in the Philippines on August 20, 2021.
Screegrab / PTV

MANILA, Philippines — A shipment of 739,200 vaccines developed by Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm arrived in the Philippines on Friday afternoon. 

The delivery is in partial fulfillment of the total one million Sinopharm doses donated by Beijing to Manila. 

The arrival of the vaccines aboard Philippine Airlines flight PR359 at NAIA Terminal 2 was live-streamed by state media at around 5:40 p.m. 

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian in an interview with Manila Times said the rest of the donation would arrive on August 21, Saturday. 

"In addition, China has substantially increased the vaccine supply from this month, and is expected to deliver nearly 9 million doses of Sinovac vaccine to the Philippines in August alone," the envoy also said. 

"[T]he total number of China's vaccine delivered to the Philippines this month is expected to reach nearly 10 million doses, which would hopefully alleviate the shortage of vaccines here." 

A shipment of 582,500 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine procured by private firms also arrived in the Philippines earlier Friday morning.  

Figures as of August 18 show that the government has fully vaccinated 12.88 million Filipinos or 11.81% of the country's total 109 million population since it launched its inoculation campaign in March. 

Some 16.25 million or 14.9% of Filipinos have received a first dose of the vaccine. 

Officials are racing to fully vaccinate at least 50 to 60 million people by yearend, a goal already downgraded from their previous target of vaccinating 70 million Filipinos to attain herd immunity before the year is out. — Bella Perez-Rubio



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