US Embassy Charges d’Affaires John Law and NTF Against Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)
MANILA – The bulk of government-procured Pfizer vaccine that arrived Wednesday night is intended for distribution to areas with high coronavirus cases, an official of the National Task Force Against Covid-19 said.
A total of 813,150 doses arrived in the country via Air Hongkong flight LD456 at around 8:30 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City. The delivery is the biggest shipment of Pfizer vaccine so far to the country.
NTF Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr., who welcomed the vaccine arrival, said the vaccine would be distributed in areas with reported cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant.
“Pfizer vaccines will be distributed to the surge areas especially to the highly urbanized centers including the NCR,” he said in a press briefing.
The shipment was the third batch of Pfizer vaccines procured by the Philippine government. The first delivery arrived on July 21 with a total of 562,770 doses while the second batch arrived in the country last July 26 with 375,570 doses.
Galvez thanked the US government for the supply of the vaccines.
“We are very thankful to the US government for giving us the large volume, one of the largest volume shipment that we had together with the 3.2 million of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) that many areas geographically, isolated and challenging areas were given most of the dosage of the J&J and Moderna. So this Pfizer vaccines will be given, as I’ve said to the NCR and other urbanized centers,” he said.
The latest vaccine delivery brings to almost 40 million doses the total number of vaccines in the Philippines, Galvez said.
“We have now 39.5 million and we are reflecting to have more and we are very thankful that Pfizer is one of our manufacturers that really provided us early deliveries,” he added.
US Embassy Charges d’Affaires John Law, who was also present during the vaccine arrival, vowed to support the country in its fight against the deadly virus by providing more vaccines.
“The United States is very happy to see the vaccines continuing to arrive in large numbers in the Philippines. As you know we’ve been working very closely with Secretary Galvez and his outstanding team they are doing extraordinary work to bring as many vaccines as quickly as possible into the Philippines to help ensure the widest possible access,” he said.
“We really believe that the path out of this pandemic is to provide as many vaccines as possible and the United States, as I mentioned at the arrival last week is determined to do all that it can to support the Philippines in these efforts and we’re just so pleased to see the extraordinary results of Secretary Galvez’s excellent work,” Law added.
The country uses several vaccines including Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Pfizer, Moderna and J&J. The first delivery of Sinopharm also arrived in the Philippines Wednesday. (PNA)