PASAY CITY — Two million doses of CoronaVac vaccines arrived at the NAIA Terminal 2 on Thursday, June 24, bringing to 11 million the total number of shots received by the country from the China-based manufacturer.

Of this fourth batch of Sinovac vaccines which arrived this month, 1.6 million doses were procured by the national government, while the 400,000 doses were purchased by the city government of Manila.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer and Vaccine Czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr., Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuña, and other government officials witnessed the arrival of the vaccines.

The latest shipment of anti-COVID vaccines brings to 16.2 million the number of doses received by the Philippines since February.

“The latest vaccines from Sinovac will be deployed in the provinces, based on the directive of President Duterte,” said Galvez.

According to Galvez, he has already instructed the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) to immediately dispatch the newly-arrived vaccines to LGUs nationwide.

Breaching the 9 million mark

Meanwhile, the vaccine czar announced that the Philippines has breached the nine million mark in total number of jabs administered.

As of June 23, 2021, 9, 281, 235 anti-Covid-19 jabs have been given since the National Vaccine Program was rolled out in March.

“This development shows that we are on the right track in our vaccination program. With the steady arrival of larger vaccine doses, we will be able to accelerate the inoculation of our priority sectors,” Galvez added.

Herd immunity

Meanwhile, Galvez said that “We will prove them wrong,” in reaction to comments made by a UK-based think tank that claimed the Philippines will be among the last countries to achieve herd immunity.

The chief implementer pointed out that the country’s daily rate of anti-Covid jabs has been steadily increasing.

Last June 22, Galvez said a total of 223,602 doses were administered, and if this trend continues, he is confident that the country would be able to achieve herd immunity before the year ends.

He said that this number is expected to further go up, as more than 5,000 vaccination sites throughout the country will soon be activated.

Galvez said that once the private sector starts vaccinating their workers, the nation’s vaccination rate will rise even further.

“We will see a significant increase in our daily vaccinations once these private sector efforts gain momentum,” he said.

Reliable partner

Galvez thanked the Chinese government and Sinovac for supporting the country’s vaccination program.

He recalled that it was through China’s donation of 600,000 Sinovac doses that the national government was able to begin the inoculation of its citizens.

“We are immensely grateful to the Chinese government and Sinovac for being a reliable partner in our vaccination program,” said Galvez.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno also expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government and the vaccine maker.

Moreno likewise thanked Galvez, Health Secretary Francisco Duque for facilitating the signing of the tripartite agreement that enabled the city of Manila to procure the 400,000 Sinovac vaccines. ###