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What to Expect: Philippines to Deliver First COVID Vaccine Shots

Hopes are high to end the pandemic.
Feb 28, 2021
Photo/s: Handout/National Task Force Against COVID-19
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Government hospitals will deliver the first COVID-19 shots on Monday, which President Rodrigo Duterte called a "big step" towards defeating the pandemic.

From 9 a.m., simultaneous programs will be held at the Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center and Sanitarium, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Philippine National Police General Hospital and Victoriano Luna Medical center, according to a government advisory.

The recipients of the first ceremonial vaccines, however, were not named as of early Sunday evening. According to the government's priority list, frontliners should be vaccinated first.

Duterte on Sunday received some 600,000 doses of CoronaVac from China's Sinovac, a donation from Beijing. Some 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are also expected on Monday.

"We welcome this day with high hopes of finally ending the COVID-19 pandemic in this country," Duterte said.

Duterte said he was "confident more batches of vaccines will be available with greater dispatch" after the first jabs are given.

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Duterte said he was pushing for "easy and equal access" to the vaccine for Filipinos and equity among the world's nations. First world countries ordered much of the initial production in advance, resulting in a global shortage.

Continue reading below ↓
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"No one is safe, unless everyone is safe," he said.

Duterte had held back on loosening quarantines in the country pending the vaccine rollout. Metro Manila will remain under GCQ, the second lowest quarantine classification through March.

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