The Philippines is scheduled to receive the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines from United Kingdom’s (UK) AstraZeneca today, Malacañang announced yesterday.
“This is to confirm that the initial shipment of Astra Zeneca is set to arrive tomorrow, March 4,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press statement.
The Philippines was supposed to receive on March 1 around 525,600 doses of Covid-19 shots developed by AstraZeneca under Vaccines Global Access (Covax) Facility.
However, the arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines was delayed due to global supply issues.
In an interview, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go said around 487,000 doses of UK-manufactured vaccine is expected to arrive at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City at around 7:30 tonight.
Go said Duterte would lead the turnover rites for AstraZeneca vaccines.
“President Duterte and I will witness the delivery of the vaccines at the Villamor Air Base. This is to show the public that President Duterte believes that the vaccines are key to restore our normal lives,” Go said.
The Philippines is set receive about 44 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine allocated by the Covax Facility within the year.
The country is also expected to have access to up to 9.2 million AstraZeneca vaccines.
On Sunday, Duterte led the turnover ceremony for 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine donated by China to the Philippines.
The government’s goal is to vaccinate 50 million to 70 million Filipinos by the end of the year.
Go said Filipinos, especially front-liners, now have the option to choose between Sinovac and AstraZeneca.
“It’s good news. Filipinos now have the choice to pick what vaccine they want. If you are front-liner and you want AstraZeneca, not Sinovac, you can do that,” he said.*PNA