Philippines Receives First COVAX COVID-19 Vaccines from World Health Organization

The Philippines has received 487,200 doses of the COVAX program COVID-19 vaccine made by AstraZeneca from the WHO.

A KLM commercial flight carried the vaccines from Belgium and landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)Terminal 3 

The plane landed at  7 p.m. local time and was personally welcomed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

The aircraft was towed to the Villamor Air Base for a welcome ceremony and the unloading of the vaccines for repacking. 

Officials from the Philippines’ Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), Department of Health (DOH), World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF Philippines attended the welcome ceremony. 

“The consignment received today will be followed by up to 4.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines scheduled to arrive before the end of May in batches in addition to other vaccines stated to be delivered to the Philippines through the COVAX Facility,” said WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe.

The vaccines were donated by Germany, the EU, Norway, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Austria, and Greece under the Covax global vaccine sharing program.

The DOH said the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group is currently finalizing the priority list for the AstraZeneca vaccines and will start distributing them after repackaging.

With the arrival of the new shipment, the Philippines has received a total of 1.087 million vaccine doses.

The AZ vaccine is the second batch to reach the Philippines after the 600,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine donated by China, which arrived last February 28.

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