ANOTHER batch of 500,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses was carried by Cebu Pacific (CEB) from Beijing to Manila on May 20, 2021, the third such shipment to be picked up by CEB, in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH).
The Bureau of Customs – Port of NAIA (BOC-NAIA), in coordination with the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) processed the release of the said additional 500,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccines on May 20, 2021.
Aboard CEB’s chartered A330 flight 5J 671, the vaccines were safely flown in temperature-controlled containers and arrived at the NAIA at 7:35 Thursday morning.
“We remain committed to support the government’s ongoing vaccination program. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide our expertise in international shipments, and we hope to continuously contribute by bringing in more life-saving vaccines from abroad,” said Alex Reyes, CEB’s Chief Strategy Officer.
Upon arrival in Manila, all vaccines were inspected by authorities prior to transferring to refrigerated trucks via electric forklifts.
CEB has already transported 2.5 million vaccine doses from China to Manila and more than one million doses to various parts of the Philippines namely, Bacolod, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, Davao, Legaspi, Masbate, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban, Tuguegarao, Virac and Zamboanga since March.
The shipment consigned to the DOH was pre-cleared on May 19 at the COVID-19 One-Stop-Shop of BOC-NAIA.
The arrival of the vaccines was witnessed by Department of Health Secretary, Francisco Duque III, and the Chief of Presidential Protocol, Undersecretary Robert Borje. The vaccines were immediately loaded in reefer van and transported to the Pharmaserv Cold Storage Facility underguarded by BOC Special Covax Team.
As of today, the country has already received a total of 8,279,050 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in which 5.5 million are Sinovac, 2.556 million are AstraZeneca, 30,000 are Sputnik V, and 193,050 are Pfizer vaccines.
BOC-NAIA District Collector Carmelita Talusan assured the public that the port will remain firm in its duty of catering its stakeholders with utmost integrity and professionalism in the One-Stop-Shop and Customer Care Center and ensuring the timely release of PPE and medical supplies amidst the threat of the pandemic.
Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the BOC remains committed to expeditiously process the release of COVID-19 vaccines in full support to the national vaccination program of the government. Along with NTF, the BOC will continue to observe strict measures to ensure the security of vaccines.