February 28, 2021
Few minutes before 5:00 PM of February 28, 2021, a military cargo plane of the People’s Republic of China arrived at the Manila International Airport carrying 600,000 dosages of the SINOVAC vaccine from China. Government officials led by President Rodrigo Duterte and the Ambassador of China witnessed the arrival of the cargo plane and the vaccines. In an interview by the media in the said event, the President announced that the vaccines were donated by the Government of China to the Philippines and the Philippines is the only country where the vaccines were delivered among the 51 countries that were given with the same vaccine.
March 1, 2021
In the morning of Monday, March 1, 2021, the vaccination of SINOVAC had started in key places in Metro Manila to include the UP Philippine General Hospital; Veterans Memorial Center; Lung Center of the Philippines; V. Luna Medical Center; and Ceremonial Vaccination held at Camp Crame Hospital for the PNP. The immediate and almost “real-time” news of key officials of the Department of Health, UP PGH, and the government had brought confidence on the public to erase doubts on the effectiveness and efficacy of the said vaccine. These vaccines will be administered to the health workers in the hospitals with Covid-19 cases as patients as they are the first priority to receive such.
In a “Live” Meeting with the President in the evening, it was announced that there will be immediate delivery of vaccines to the South in the cities of Cebu and Davao and other key cities where there are new cases of the Covid-19 within the week.
The arrival of the initial batch of Covid-19 vaccines from the Republic of China is a good news and development for the country. There is also an indication from the statements of the President that more vaccines will arrive in the Philippines in the coming days and weeks. Personally, it is my assessment that the Philippines is not among the last nations that have started its Covid-19 vaccination program. We are on the top one-thirds of the total number of countries that had implemented this program. In the days ahead, more vaccines will be produced by these popular pharmaceutical companies and new vaccines will be available in the market, these Covid-19 will be manageable in due time. At the rate we are going, the Philippines vulnerable population to the virus (ages 18-80) will be vaccinated by the end of 2022. That is my personal prediction.