WORLD / ASIA-PACIFIC
Philippines' Duterte thanks China for offering COVID-19 vaccines
Published: Mar 02, 2021 10:36 AM
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shows a vial of the Sinovac vaccine CoronaVac donated by China in Manila, the Philippines, on Feb. 28, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shows a vial of the Sinovac vaccine CoronaVac donated by China in Manila, the Philippines, on Feb. 28, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)


 
Staff members unload vaccines donated by China at a Philippine Air Force base in Manila, the Philippines, on Feb. 28, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

Staff members unload vaccines donated by China at a Philippine Air Force base in Manila, the Philippines, on Feb. 28, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)


 
Philippine Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III injects a shot of COVID-19 vaccine from China's Sinovac to a doctor on the first day of the vaccination at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Manila, the Philippines on March 1, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Philippine Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III injects a shot of COVID-19 vaccine from China's Sinovac to a doctor on the first day of the vaccination at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Manila, the Philippines on March 1, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)


 
Health workers receive the COVID-19 vaccines from China's Sinovac on the first day of the vaccination at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Manila, the Philippines on March 1, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)

Health workers receive the COVID-19 vaccines from China's Sinovac on the first day of the vaccination at the Lung Center of the Philippines in Manila, the Philippines on March 1, 2021.(Photo: Xinhua)


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte thanked China again for donating a batch of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac to the Philippines.

"From the bottom of my heart and with immense gratitude, I thank you, the Chinese people and government, for being so generous," Duterte said during a televised public address on Monday night.

A batch of the Sinovac vaccines donated by China arrived in the Philippines on Sunday, the first COVID-19 vaccine to reach the Southeast Asian country. Duterte went to the airport to welcome the arrival of the vaccines.

Duterte said receiving the vaccines from China made another step forward in the Philippines' ongoing fight against COVID-19.

"I convey my sincere gratitude to the Chinese people and the government of China for this gesture of friendship and solidarity - the hallmark of the Philippines-China partnership," Duterte said in a speech.

The Philippines launched its coronavirus vaccination drive on Monday morning, less than a day after the arrival of the Chinese vaccines.

Duterte has said China's donations would greatly help the Philippine economy recover after the vaccine rollout begins.

The Philippines has confirmed 578,381 COVID-19 cases, including 12,322 deaths.

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 about a population of 110 million people.

The Philippines is also in discussion with different pharmaceutical firms to buy over 160 million vaccine doses this year, including Sinovac.
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