The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines, CoronaVac from the Chinese company Sinovac, arrived this Sunday.
At around 4:10 pm, a Chinese military cargo plane landed at Villamor Air Base in Pasay, carrying 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself led the welcome ceremony for the vaccines, along with some government officials.
When Duterte arrived at the airbase, he was immediately greeted by the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.
Duterte, along with other officials such as Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, personally inspected the crates of vaccine donations.
After that, the crates from the cargo plane were unloaded.
Landing crates sanitized them before loading them into the waiting refrigerated container van.
Vaccines will be taken to the Department of Health storage facility in Marikina.
In his speech, Duterte thanked China for the vaccine donation.
Duterte also reminded the public to continue to follow the minimum health protocol.
Vaccines will be placed at the cold storage facility in Marikina City.
600,000 doses of CoronaVac arrive in Philippines
The vaccine processing facility is expected to be busy tonight for deployment at COVID-19 priority hospitals, which will hold a vaccination rollout on Monday.
This Sunday, Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro inspected the facility, which can store nearly 40 million vials of vaccine with a temperature requirement of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.
About 100,000 doses of the CoronaVac will be given to the military while the rest will go to health care workers, which is a priority in the COVID-19 vaccination program.
The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group announced on Friday that it recommends CoronaVac to health workers even though its efficacy rate is only 50.4 percent in clinical trials with medical frontliners in Brazil.
Also on Monday, 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are expected to arrive from the COVAX Facility of the World Health Organization.
The AstraZeneca vaccine will also be delivered to the Marikina facility on Monday, according to Teodoro.
This Sunday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines reached 576,352, of which 12,318 died.
About 30,000 are currently active cases or have not yet recovered from the disease, according to the Department of Health.