THE PHILIPPINES on Monday took delivery of about a million doses of CoronaVac it bought from Chinese drug maker Sinovac Biotech Ltd., according to the presidential palace.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte received the vaccine doses at a military airbase in the capital region.

The vaccines are on top of 25 million doses that the National Government from Sinovac, vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. said in a statement.

“The arrival of these vaccines is great news as we are beginning to see the fruits of our negotiation efforts after months of hard work to provide vaccines for our people,” he said.

“This is but the first of the many other doses we have negotiated in order to achieve our goal of herd immunity,” he added.

Senator Christopher Lawrence T. Go, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian also attended Monday’s rites.

“We are expecting the delivery of around 1.5 to 4 million of the remaining procured doses from Sinovac by April and May 2021 together with the additional 979,200 AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the WHO-led COVAX facility,” Mr. Galvez said.

The vaccines would be deployed to Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao and other areas facing a spike in coronavirus infections, presidential spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. told a televised news briefing on Monday. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza