Preparations are underway for the arrival of the Sinovac vaccine in the Philippines this Sunday, where President Rodrigo Duterte himself will attend.
This Friday, the simulation of the Philippine Air Force tarmac is underway at Villamor Airbase where the Chinese Air Force will drop the first batch of Sinovac vaccine CoronaVac, the first COVID-19 vaccine to land in the country.
The cargo plane is expected to carry 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine.
The Palace confirmed that Duterte himself will lead the welcome ceremony for the vaccines.
In an interview with TeleRadyo, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the processes will be ready when the vaccines arrive. He added they have already prepared for them in the last 2 weeks.
From the airbase, vaccines will be directed to the storage facility of the Department of Health (DOH) using some 40-footer refrigerated container vans. Escorts will accompany it so as not to be delayed.
“Ang storage facility na ‘yon, kaya ang 500 million doses,” Duque said.
Duterte to welcome Sinovac vaccines on Sunday
Duque said the IATF has met again to finalize how, to whom and when the vaccines will be distributed.
The IATF will decide on the recommendation of the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG) on the future prioritization and allocation plan.
The issue will also be ironed out if it could an option for health care workers.
But on Friday, NITAG also announced that they would approve the Sinovac vaccine for health care workers, even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it was not recommended.
“NITAG and the TAG (technical advisory group) has deemed it sufficient to recommend the use of the vaccine for health care workers as it bears to reiterate that our goal for prioritizing health care workers for vaccination is to reduce morbidity and mortality among their group, while they maintain the most critical essential health services,” said DOH spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.