MORE than two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines were airlifted by Singapore Airlines from the Netherlands to the premier airport on Saturday, as part of the Covax facility supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). This brings the total number of v…
MORE than two million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines were airlifted by Singapore Airlines from the Netherlands to the premier airport on Saturday, as part of the Covax facility supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). This brings the total number of vaccine doses in the country to around 7.5 million.
This shipment represents vaccines financed by Covax, the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to vaccines. It is directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the WHO.
Manufactured by the University of Oxford, AstraZeneca was found to be 70 percent effective on average and needs only need to be stored at around 2°C, the standard temperature that is within the existing cold chain system in the country.
At the airport to welcome the shipment were Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Testing Czar Secretary Vince Dizon, US Embassy Chargé dAffaires John C. Law, US Embassy Environment, Science, Technology and Health Officer Claire Bea; WHO Philippine Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe; Unicef Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov; United Nations Resident Representative Gustavo Gonzales; Undersecretary Robert Borje and airport customs District Collector Carmelita Talusan.
The new arrival is expected to provide the second jab for people who earlier received the same brand of AstraZeneca.
The excess doses will be ferried across the country by local air carriers.
The Bureau of Customs NAIA district immediately cleared for release the two shipments of Covid-19 vaccines that arrived the past two days: 1.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccines, which arrived on May 7, via a Cebu Pacific plane from China, and the 2,030,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived on Saturday.
Upon arrival, the Covid-19 vaccines were immediately processed by the BOC Covax Special Handling Team and brought to the Pharmaserv Cold Storage Facility in Marikina City.