Country receives China-donated Covid-19 vaccines

A batch of Sinovac vaccine CoronaVac donated by China arrived in the Philippines, the first Covid-19 vaccine to reach the South-East Asian country.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attended the handover ceremony of the vaccines at a Philippine Air Force base in the capital city of Manila yesterday.

The delivery of the vaccines allows the Philippines to start mass vaccinations soon, marking a new phase in the country’s fight against the Covid-19 that infected 576,352 and killed 12,318.

Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte had signed into law on Friday a Bill that speeds up the procurement and administration of Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

The new law or Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Act of 2021 also creates a national indemnity fund to compensate any person inoculated in case of death, permanent disability, or hospital confinement due to serious adverse events.

“We are confident that the signing of this landmark piece of legislation would expedite the procurement and administration of vaccines for the protection against Covid-19, ” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement on Friday.

Roque did not go into the details of the new law.

But he said the law “covers the creation of an indemnity fund to cover compensation for those who would experience serious adverse effects to the vaccine.

“Indeed, we remain committed in our fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and we are using necessary means, such as the enactment of this (law), certified urgent by (Duterte), as a way to start our vaccine rollout, ” Roque said.

The Philippines aims to kick off the vaccine rollout next week.

The government aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year, starting with health care workers and soldiers.

The elderly and the poor communities are next in the priority list. — Xinhua

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