The arrival of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines will be delayed by around a week, Health Sec. Francisco Duque III said Sunday as the country welcomed the arrival of its first jabs from China's Sinovac.
Malacañang earlier announced the arrival of AstraZeneca jabs on Monday, March 1, but Sec. Duque on Sunday said the government received communication from the World Health Organization on the delay of the vaccine delivery.
"Hindi matutuloy dahil ang sabi ng WHO nagkakaproblema sila sa supply. Maantala daw ng mga isang linggo," Duque said in an interview with PTV.
President Rodrigo Duterte was supposed to receive the AstraZeneca jabs when these arrive in the country.
The Philippines is set to receive 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca jabs courtesy of the COVAX facility, which ensures equitable global access to COVID-19 vaccines. The jabs are different from the 17 million AstraZeneca doses ordered by the national government through a tripartite deal with the country's business sector.
The vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, is the second to secure emergency use authorization in the Philippines after Pfizer and BioNTech.