PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

About 2.7 million more coronavirus vaccines arrived in the Philippines on Friday, boosting the government’s inoculation drive. 

The government took delivery of 1.1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine made by AstraZeneca Plc and 1.6 million shots made by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the presidential palace said. 

Private companies paid for the AstraZeneca vaccines, while the first batch of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines was donated by the US. The same number of Johnson & Johnson vaccines was expected to arrive on Saturday. 

Unlike the other vaccine brands that require two doses, the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson requires only a dose. 

The government has given out 14.46 million vaccines, 4.29 million of which were second doses, presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. told a televised news briefing. 

He added that 391,283 shots were given out on Thursday, the highest so far. 

Meanwhile, an inter-agency task force has updated the list of territories under a so-called green list, travelers from which only need to undergo a seven-day quarantine instead of 10 days. 

The countries included Albania, American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Benin, Bermuda, The British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cayman Islands, Chad, China, Comoros, Cote d’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Curacao, Dominica, Eswatini, Falkland Islands, French Polynesia and Gabon 

Also on the list are Gambia, Ghana, Greenland, Grenada, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of China), Iceland, Isle of Man, Israel, Laos, Liechtenstein, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Federated States of Micronesia, Montserrat, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria and North Macedonia. 

Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Romania, Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands), Saint Barthelemy, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Singapore, Sint Eustatius, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Turks and Caicos Islands and Vietnam likewise were on the green list. 

Meanwhile, Filipinos in Thailand have sought the government’s help for vaccination as the country experiences a fresh surge in infections from more contagious coronavirus variants. 

Philippine Ambassador to Thailand Millicent C. Paredes said they were in talks with Thailand, which is facing vaccine supply problems, to vaccinate Filipinos there as soon as possible. 

Ms. Paredes said the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Thailand was due Alpha and Delta variants that spread in high-end bars in Bangkok. 

Thirty of 30,000 Filipinos in Thailand have been infected with the coronavirus. Only two were active cases, 27 have recovered and one patient died, she said. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago