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2 million more AstraZaneca doses arrive in Philippines

(The Freeman) - May 9, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The Philippines received Saturday afternoon 2,030,400 more doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility arrived, bringing the total number of vaccine doses in the country to around 7.5 million.

The vaccine doses landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila onboard the Singapore Airlines flight SQ 910.

The government has yet to announce how the vaccine doses will be distributed, although it is expected that a portion of these shots will be allotted as the second dose for the thousands who have earlier received their first AstraZeneca jab.

A day before the arrival of the shots, the Department of Health announced that the AstraZeneca vaccine can again be used by those aged 18 and above after halting the administration of the shots to those 60 and below due to concerns over very rare blood clots after vaccination.

The AstraZeneca shot, developed in partnership with the University of Oxford, was found to be 70% effective on average.

The jabs only need to be stored at around 2°C, which is the standard temperature that is within the existing cold chain system in the country.

The Philippines has one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia and is counting on a massive vaccination campaign to end it.

Vaccination, however, has been slow with only over 1.8 million people getting their first dose and over 421,000 people being fully vaccinated two months into the immunization program which began in March.

Cebu City stats

Meanwhile, in Cebu City, 23 of the 80 barangays have not recorded any COVID-19 case over the last 10 days, according to Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the city’s Emergency Operations Center.

Garganera, however, reiterated the same advice the EOC has given before – that people should not be complacent.

Cebu City has already allowed many business establishments to reopen, which has also prompted an influx of people in the city’s public places. The liquor ban in the city has also been lifted.

Garganera said that residents need to follow the health protocols since COVID-19 is still very much around.

Based on the May 7 count, Cebu City added 42 new cases, making the total count at 23,680 cases. At the moment, there are only 704 active cases in the city.

Cebu City also reported 170 recoveries on the same day.

Its total deaths are at 848.

In Mandaue City, six new cases were logged, making the total at 6,417 cases, 314 of which are active. There were also 25 reported recoveries in the city as of May 7, although one death was also recorded.

Lapu-Lapu City now has 6,275 total cases after it recorded 14 new ones. It has 581 active cases as of this report.

DOH-7 data showed that Central Visayas has already reported a total of 57,247 total cases: 3,780 active cases; 51,482 recoveries; and 1,985 deaths. — Philstar.com, Rowena D. Capistrano and Decemay P. Padilla, JMD (FREEMAN)

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