MANILA – The Philippines on Thursday received 896,000 shots of domestically produced AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine donated by Japan.
Yesterday’s doses were part of the first batch of 1,961,600 shots of the AstraZeneca jab pledged by the Japanese government. The second batch consisting of 1,065,600 doses is scheduled to arrive on Oct. 30.
“These donated vaccines will enable the Philippines to realize its goal of achieving a daily jab rate of 1.5 million doses, and fully vaccinate at least 50 million Filipinos by year end,” Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar, said.
“The arrival of this latest vaccine donation from Japan comes at a crucial time, as the Philippines continues to expand the coverage of its vaccine rollout, which now includes minors within the 12 to 17 age group,” he added.
Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa emphasized the importance of vaccines in preventing the spread of COVID-19, drawing from Japan’s experience in dealing with the pandemic.
“In Japan, we are currently seeing astonishing successes in our vaccination program. The rate of adult vaccination has increased significantly, and the number of new infection cases a day had declined dramatically,” Koshikawa said.
“I expect the same thing would happen soon in the Philippines,” he continued.
Japan had donated 1,124,100 AstraZeneca doses back in July, bringing its total donated shots to the Philippines to 3,085,700. - FJJ, OPAPP
(Photo courtesy of Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process)