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PH receives another 1 million Sinovac doses 

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One million doses of Sinovac vaccines are set to arrive on March 29, making it the first batch of COVID-19 jabs purchased by the government to reach the country, according to a report by Philippine Star.

President Duterte, who will be flying from Davao City at noon, will receive the vaccines at the Villamor Air Base this afternoon. Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) is transporting the vaccines from Beijing to Manila using its A330 aircraft for the all-cargo charter flight.

Last Saturday night, presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said arrival ceremonies were being arranged amid the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.

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On March 24, PAL made its first international vaccine transport from China, carrying 400,000 Sinovac doses, utilizing its B777 aircraft. This was the second batch of vaccines donated by the Chinese government to the Philippines.

Yesterday, Vice President Leni Robredo said more vaccines must be dedicated by government to areas with high infection rates apart from the National Capital Region (NCR)-Plus bubble – which includes Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan and Rizal.

“I hope they will look at the data and allocate vaccines in other areas with high incidence of COVID-19 outside the NCR-Plus,” Robredo said over dzXL radio.

So far, the Philippines has received 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX, a global vaccine sharing scheme spearheaded by the World Health Organization.

WHO had set the priority of vaccinating medical frontliners, seniors and those with comorbidities first to ensure the unhampered supply of vaccines from the COVAX Facility.

China also earlier donated 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines, paving the way for the start of vaccine rollout in the country in the first week of this month.

Meanwhile, budget carrier Cebu Pacific said it would continue to operate its domestic and international flights as scheduled until April 4.

Both airlines were to issue appropriate announcements on their commercial flights, following guidelines from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in view of the effect of ECQ on travel.

Cebu Pacific said passengers are given the option to rebook for free, refund, or store the amount in a travel fund.


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