Philippines to receive first Covid-19 vaccines, inoculation starts next week

Published on Feb 25, 2021 02:03 PM IST

Despite having among the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Asia, the Philippines will be the last Southeast Asian country to receive its initial set of vaccines.

A health worker opens a mock COVID-19 vaccines during a simulation in preparation for its arrival, at an elementary school turned vaccination command center in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines.(REUTERS)
A health worker opens a mock COVID-19 vaccines during a simulation in preparation for its arrival, at an elementary school turned vaccination command center in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines.(REUTERS)
Reuters | , Manila

The Philippines will take delivery of its first Covid-19 vaccines at the weekend, allowing it to kick off its inoculation programme from next week, a senior official said on Thursday.

Despite having among the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Asia, the Philippines will be the last Southeast Asian country to receive its initial set of vaccines.

The delivery of 600,000 doses Sinovac Biotech's vaccines, donated by China, will arrive on Sunday, said Harry Roque, spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte.

"It rolls out on Monday because our countrymen are excited," he said of the vaccination programme.

Among the first to be inoculated will be an official from a hospital who lost both parents to the coronavirus, plus a tricycle driver, Roque said.

Also read| 229 students contract Covid-19 in Maharashtra’s Washim

The Philippines has ordered 25 million doses from Sinovac and was supposed to receive its first batch on Feb. 23. That was delayed emergency use authorisation was only given this week.

Aside from Sinovac, 10,000 doses of a vaccine developed by China's Sinopharm will arrive soon, under a "compassionate use" for Duterte's security detail. Doses from AstraZeneca will arrive in March, Roque said.

"I have to admit, if we insisted on Western brands, we will still wait for its arrival," he added.

Duterte, who has pursued warmer ties with China and has a strained relationship with many Western countries, has previously said he wanted to procure Covid-19 vaccines from China or Russia.

The vaccination programme will be crucial for Philippine efforts to revive its economy, which suffered a record 9.5% slump last year due to strict and lengthy lockdowns that hit consumer spending and saw big job losses.

Get Latest World News along with Latest News from Indiaat Hindustan Times.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, October 06, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals