PASAY CITY (17 November 2021) — The Philippines received the last shipment of government-procured Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines for 2021 with the delivery on Wednesday of 3,530,400 jabs.

National Task Force against COVID 19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr thanked the government of China for facilitating the timely shipment of the Chinese-made vaccines, as he lauded Sinovac for fulfilling the agreed delivery schedules.

“The completion of our 2021 supply orders from Sinovac is a testament of our strong bilateral relations with China, which has been our reliable partner in our country’s pandemic response an economic recovery. We value its continued support and friendship, as evident in the strong collaboration between our nations,” Galvez added.

A total of 54,030,400 doses of Sinovac vaccines have been delivered to the country since February.

Of these shipments, two million doses were donated by the Chinese government, 900,000 doses were procured by the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc and the City of Manila, while 51,130,400 shots were procured by the national government through its regular budget and multilateral loans.

“The Filipino people will always be grateful to Sinovac and the Chinese government for facilitating the continuous and timely delivery of these life-saving vaccines. For it was through the Sinovac vaccines donated by the Chinese government last February that our country was able to begin the rollout of our national vaccination program,” said Galvez.

The Sinovac vaccine, which is part of the country’s vaccine portfolio, is among the first few brands that were granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The vaccine is also included in the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing.

“We might have had a difficult start in terms of vaccine acceptance and people’s perception of Sinovac but all these fears were allayed as more people, particularly our healthcare workers who were administered with the vaccine, were protected against severe infection and death even as they were attending to COVID-19 patients,” he added.

The vaccine czar also thanked the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) for providing the necessary funds that have enabled the country to procure the life-saving doses.

More than 45.6 million doses of the national government’s procured vaccine supply were funded by these multilateral financial institutions.

Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian expressed optimism in the country’s “economic and social recovery” following the latest shipment of Sinovac vaccines.

“We hope the arrival of 3.5 million doses of vaccines will further contribute to bringing down the cases here in this country and contribute to the early recovery of the economy and social life,” Huang said.

The ambassador also lauded Galvez and members of the NTF for their effective implementation of the Philippines’ pandemic response and mitigation efforts, particularly for “remarkably” bringing down COVID-19 cases.

“The professionalism, dedication, hard work, transparency shown by Secretary Galvez and his honesty in the process of working to fight the coronavirus. I am very much impressed and show my high respect and high salute to them,” said Huang.

“We congratulate the major progress you have made. We hope to see that the people in this country will enjoy economic and social recovery at an early date and enjoy a very happy and healthy Christmas,” he added.

Chief of Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Robert Borje likewise emphasized the value of strong partnerships in addressing the challenges caused by the health crisis.

“It is an important time for all of us to take stock of what we have been doing as partners. This is a partnership that works under President Duterte’s independent foreign policy. We have friends and partners who would help us achieve our government’s objectives,” said Borje.

More vaccine supply

Huang confirmed that another two million doses of Sinovac vaccines will be donated by China this year to augment the country’s vaccine supply.

“We are in the process of applying for an EUA for the donation. Once completed, they will be transported into the country. We hope that the additional two million doses will arrive before Christmas so it can contribute to a healthy and happy Christmas to the Philippines,” he said.

As of November 17, the Philippines has received a total of 128,444,400 COVID-19 vaccine doses since February.

More than 84.78 million doses of these vaccines were government procured, 7.98 million doses were purchased by the private sector and local government units, 29.07 million doses were donated by different countries and organizations through the COVAX facility, and 6.60 million doses were direct donations coming from partner nations.

Galvez said that the country’s growing vaccine inventory is crucial in the government’s goal of inoculating 54 million Filipinos with at least one dose by the end of November, and completely vaccinating them before year end.

As of November 16, a total of 71,680,132 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide, bringing the total number of fully vaccinated individuals to 32,212,344.

Galvez said the latest supply of Sinovac vaccine will be allocated for the three-day National Vaccination Days on November 29 to December 1, where the government aims to inoculate 15 million Filipinos. END