Philippines starts rollout of China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine

The Philippines launched its coronavirus vaccination campaign on Monday, less than a day after the arrival of the Sinovac vaccine CoronaVac donated by China.

Simultaneous vaccination took place in hospitals in Metro Manila on Monday morning.

The Philippines’ Department of Health said the Sinovac vaccines “will also be rolled out in other parts of the country in the coming days.”

The government aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year to achieve herd immunity, starting with health care workers, the elderly, and the poor communities. The Philippines has an about 110-million population.

The Philippines is negotiating to buy over 160 million vaccine doses from different pharmaceutical firms this year, including Sinovac, said Carlito Galvez, the official in charge of the vaccine procurement.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte received the COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac Biotech Ltd that arrived in the Philippines on Sunday.

“The efficacy is good,” he said.