By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Yahoo News

Philippines may finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with the arrival of first batch of coronavirus vaccines on Sunday, February 27.

600,000 vaccine doses from China-based Sinovac Biotech will be delivered in the country with President Rodrigo Duterte and several members of the Cabinet are willing to personally welcome the cargo.

“Excited na kami dahil bukas darating na ang bakuna. Personal na sasalubungin ni Presidente,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said over state-run television program.

The vaccine turnover will be held at Villamor Air Base at 5:00 p.m.

The country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier approved the Sinovac vaccines for emergency use, paving the way for their immediate delivery to the country.  The drug regulators did not recommend the use of the Sinovac vaccines for health workers due to the varying levels of efficacy. The vaccine, however, may be used by healthy individuals between 18 and 59 years old.

Roque said the country’s health workers may decline the Sinovac vaccine, and wait for their preferred brand of the preventive drug. He said these health workers would not lose their priority status if they reject the first available drug.

He also assured that medical frontliners would be given a chance to choose the vaccine brand they prefer to be inoculated with.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian previously said the donated vaccines are part of the partnership and friendship between China and Philippines.

“It is a fine tradition between China and the Philippines to help each other in trying times. A friend in need is a friend indeed,” Huang said.

RELATED ARTICLE: Manila Bulletin