President Duterte would personally welcome the arrival of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Malacañang said that President Rodrigo Duterte would personally welcome the arrival of the expected 3.5 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses.
In a report on GMA News Online, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that President Duterte would personally receive the arrival of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Roque made the announcement days after the Philippine government started its inoculation program using China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.
“He’s on standby, to being in the airport to receive the delivery of the COVAX vaccine, AstraZeneca, kung kailan po ito mangyayari ‘no. Kahapon po nagbigay siya ng order, sabihin lang sa kanya kung kailan darating at sasalubong din po siya. Uuwi siya ng Maynila kung siya’y nasa Davao at sasalubong din siya sa AstraZeneca. Dahil kung dumating, kinakailangan pasalamatan din natin ang WHO (World Health Organization) at ang gobyerno po ng Inglatera dahil talagang itong papasok po at darating na COVAX facility allocation ng AstraZeneca ay dahil po sa intercession ni Ambassador [Daniel] Pruce ng United Kingdom,” Roque said.
However, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. on Monday said that the arrival of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX facility had no definite date yet because of the lack of supply.
COVAX was a global effort led by the World Health Organization wherein wealthier nations pitched in to aid developing countries in battling coronavirus pandemic — including access to COVID-19 vaccines.
WHO representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe on Tuesday said that the delay was because of logistical challenge of transporting large shipment of vaccines requiring cold storage.
Only the 600,000 Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the Chinese government were the ones available for use in the country since these were the only supply which already arrived in the Philippines.
On Sunday afternoon, President Duterte was physically present when the 600,000 Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses arrived in the Philippines, thanking China for such gesture of solidarity and friendship.