THE country’s two biggest air service providers, Philippine Airlines (PAL) and Cebu Air, Inc. (Cebu Pacific), have been delivering the country’s first batch of coronavirus vaccines to areas outside the capital region.
In a statement on Friday, PAL said a total of 145,520 doses of CoronaVac vaccine donated by the Chinese government to Manila were delivered to various parts of the country.
The vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd arrived in the country on Feb. 28 and were initially brought to cold chain storage facilities at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila and Metropac Logistics in Marikina City.
PAL, through its commercial flights, said it carried 10,580 doses to Iloilo, 17,480 doses to Cebu, 6,600 doses to Bacolod, 17,940 doses to Cotabato , 8,940 doses to Butuan, 2,680 doses to Tagbilaran, and 6,900 doses to Tacloban.
Earlier this week, the flag carrier flew 17,400 doses to Cagayan de Oro, 21,600 doses to Davao, 12,000 doses to Legazpi, and 4,200 doses to Cotabato.
Another 12,000 doses were brought to Davao and 7,200 doses to Cebu.
“PAL continues to be of service to the nation by doing its share towards healing and recovery,” it said.
Also on Friday, CebGo, operator of Cebu Pacific’s turboprop fleet, delivered 21,000 vials of CoronaVac to Zamboanga and Tuguegarao .
“We are happy to support the rollout of the government’s vaccination program. As a public service with the widest domestic network, we will do all we can to help ensure the timely and successful distribution of vaccines across the country, as we all work together to pave way for the recovery of our economy,” CebGo President Alex B. Reyes said in a statement.
Meanwhile, coronavirus response team deputy chief implementer Vivencio B. Dizon said President Rodrigo R. Duterte wants the simultaneous rollout of the CoronaVac vaccine and the shot developed by British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc, which arrived in Manila on Thursday.
“The rollout will start immediately, as based on the instructions of our President, that he wants the rollout to be simultaneous so that also our healthcare workers are given a choice,” Mr. Dizon told CNN Philippines. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza