The Philippine military is targeting to vaccinate 100 soldiers against the coronavirus daily once the first batch of vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. arrive, a military official said on Friday.

Armed Forces of the Philippines personnel must get vaccinated, but they can choose a different brand at their own expense, spokesman Major General Edgard A. Arevalo told a televised news briefing on Friday. Soldiers would be tapped to distribute vaccines nationwide, he added.

China’s donation of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines are expected to arrive next week. Of the initial batch, 100,000 doses were donated to the Philippine military. The rest will be used to inoculate other priority sectors such as medical frontliners.

Sinovac’s CoronaVac is one of the frontrunners in the vaccine race, along with the shots developed by British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc, Russia’s Gameleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology and America’s Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.

Those who refuse to be vaccinated will be “dealt with disciplinary actions,” Mr. Arevalo said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza