OVER two million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United States have landed in the Philippines.
A total of 2,020,590 doses of the U.S.-made Pfizer vaccine arrived on Sunday, September 19, while a second batch of 561,600 doses landed on Monday, Sept. 20, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at about 9:20 p.m.
The vaccines were part of the 500 million Pfizer doses that the U.S. is making available for distribution through the COVAX facility, a global initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO) to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
“I’m really proud that we donated for the last two days more than two million doses that will give more than a million Filipinos full vaccination,” said newly arrived U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava, who joined Philippine government officials to welcome the arrival of the vaccine shipments.
Meanwhile, WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe noted that the U.S. donation can help the Philippines address the recent COVID-19 surge.
“Pfizer vaccines are coming at an excellent time. (It is) meant to help the Philippines respond to the current surge and protect as many Filipino lives as possible,” he said.
The delivery of the 10 million Pfizer jabs in the Philippines will be completed by the first week of October, according to the country’s vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr.
To date, the Philippines has received a total of 64,942,000 vaccine doses of different brands.
“9,586,270 doses were delivered from Sept. 13 to 19, making it the highest weekly delivery since February when the country started receiving vaccines from various manufacturers,” the National Task Force Against COVID-19 said in a statement.
Of the nine million doses, 6.65 million were secured by the government, 909,400 were purchased by the private sector and local government units, and 2.02 million were donations from COVAX.
“We are now beginning to reap the benefits of having a forward-looking and sustainable plan in our vaccine procurement. We will continue to negotiate and hopefully sustain this bulk allocation and delivery schedule in the coming weeks,” Galvez said.
As of Sept. 19, a total of 41,414,015 jabs have been administered in the Philippines. The number of fully vaccinated individuals stood at 18,560,409 or 24.06% of the country’s 77 million target population.
Meanwhile, over 22.85 million vaccine doses have been administered as the first shot.