MANILA, May 8 (Mabuhay) — — The Philippines on Saturday received 2 million COVID-19 shots developed by Britain’s Oxford-AstraZeneca through vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility.
The vaccines arrived just before 1 p.m. at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport via a Singapore Airlines flight. It is the single biggest delivery of COVID-19 vaccines the Philippines has received so far, and the second of such brand after the first shipment of 525,600 AstraZeneca doses to the Philippines also via COVAX.
The vaccine batch raises the Philippines’ total vaccine supply to 7.540 million COVID-19 shots, majority of which are from Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech.
The Food and Drug Administration has yet to receive reports of blood clotting in those who earlier received AstraZeneca jabs, the FDA chief said Monday.
The health department had suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine on those aged 59 and below following very rare reports of blood clots abroad.
But on Friday, the DOH said local governments may resume use of the brand for individuals aged below 60, saying there have been no reports of post-vaccination blood clotting in the Philippines.
Led by the World Health Organization, the COVAX platform aims to ensure vaccine access to poor countries. It pledged to secure coronavirus vaccines for 20 percent of the Philippines’ 108 million people.
Jabs from COVAX will include those developed by US-based Pfizer and Johnson&Johnson, British drugs group AstraZeneca, and Covovax from the Serum Institute of India, vaccine “czar” Carlito Galvez earlier said.
Among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia, the Philippines aims to inoculate 70 million people or two-thirds of its population this year.
The Philippines has vaccinated at least 1.7 million people as of May 4. ()MNS)