Duterte says China donating additional 400,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses
China will be donating additional 400,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine to the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday.
"I will be receiving another batch...China would give us another 400,(000), making their donation to this country one million," said Duterte in a speech during the simultaneous inauguration of buildings in two public schools in Valenzuela City.
Last Sunday, China delivered 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine, which are being used in the country's immunization program.
While accusing some doctors of being "very discriminating" over the Sinovac vaccine, Duterte admitted that he wants himself to be injected with Sinopharm vaccine, another Chinese drug but has no emergency use authorization yet in the Philippines.
"For those of you who would opt to take that (AstraZeneca) vaccine, it's fine with me...others might prefer other brands. The doctors are very discriminating. They are waiting for the Pfizer," he said.
"Mine is Sinopharm, China. I'm not very fond of the products from the White," Duterte said.
Some 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility arrived Thursday night at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Duterte witnessed its arrival.
Duterte said the AstraZeneca vaccine was a donation from the WHO.
"It is the answer to their call that rich nation must also fund the poor nation because no one is safe until everybody is safe. So that's how it is," he said.
Duterte reiterated that if many Filipinos have already been vaccinated, he would open immediately the economy and slowly resume the face-to-face classes.
"If I see most of the citizens can avail of the vaccine in any of the health centers, hospitals...that is the standard, then I will reopen everything in our economy," he said.
"You have my assurance that the government will be exerting all efforts to roll out the nationwide COVID-19 Vaccination Program to enable us to reopen our schools and slowly resume our face-to-face learning," Duterte added. Celerina Monte/DMS