Press Release
March 4, 2021

Bong Go says AstraZeneca vaccines expected to arrive in PHL; assures frontliners they will be given choices on vaccination

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go on Wednesday, March 3, said that he and President Rodrigo Duterte will personally witness the turnover ceremony of the AstraZeneca vaccines which are expected to arrive in the country at 7:30pm on March 4 based on a letter sent by United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to the Department of Health.

The AstraZeneca jabs, which will be the second batch of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in the country, are from the World Health Organization-led Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility, a global initiative that guarantees access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

"Good news po -- inaasahan na darating bukas ng gabi, 7:30pm ang 487,200 doses ng mga vaccines mula sa AstraZeneca. At sasalubungin po namin mismo ni Pangulong Duterte ang mga bakuna mula po sa COVAX facility. Ito pong 487,200 vaccines mula po sa AstraZeneca," he said in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon (March 3).

AstraZeneca jabs were supposed to arrive in the country on Monday, March 1, but were delayed due to global supply issues.

The Senator also assured the Filipino people that he and the President will work hard to secure the necessary number of vaccines needed to attain herd immunity in the country and restore normalcy.

"Ginagawa naman po ang lahat namin ni Pangulong Duterte, sa abot ng aming makakaya, na magkaroon tayo ng bakuna. Uunahin natin ang mga frontliners, uunahin rin natin lahat ng mahihirap nating mga kababayan," Go said in a separate interview.

"'Yun po dapat mauna at libre po ito dapat sa mga kababayan nating mga mahihirap," he added.

Go emphasized that with the arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines, Filipinos, particularly frontliners who are the first priority to be inoculated, will now have choices on which vaccine to get.

"Good news po yan para sa ating mga frontliners dahil mayroon na silang pagpipilian -- 'yung mula po sa Sinovac at ngayon po mayroon na tayong Astrazeneca," he said.

"Yung frontliners natin, bigyan natin sila ng the best -- kung ano po 'yung gusto nila. Sila po isinabak natin sa gyerang ito, bigyan natin what is due to them -- kung ano pong armas na dapat nilang bitbitin sa gyera kontra COVID-19," he also said in an interview.

Go also stressed the need to strengthen public confidence in the vaccines in order to defeat COVID-19 and overcome the pandemic.

"Sana po ay tuloy-tuloy na po ang pagro-rollout ng pagbabakuna at dapat nating kunin ang kumpyansa ng mamamayan na ang tanging solusyon, ang tanging susi ay ang bakuna lamang para unti-unti na tayong makabalik sa normal nating pamumuhay," he said.

"Huwag po kayo matakot sa bakuna, matakot po kayo sa COVID-19. Ang bakuna po ang papatay sa sakit na COVID-19," he added.

Meanwhile, Go earlier said that President Duterte is satisfied with the start of the ongoing vaccine rollout throughout the country.

"Very satisfied naman po ang ating Pangulo sa naging resulta po ng vaccination rollout kahapon po at nag-umpisa na pong bakunahan ang mga nag-boluntaryong health workers natin para po sila ay protektado dito sa sakit na COVID-19," Go said during another radio interview last Tuesday, March 2.

Go emphasized the importance of vaccinating medical frontliners who are at risk of catching the disease due to their line of work.

"Sila po ang frontliners na tinatawag. Sila po ang sinabak natin sa giyerang ito. Dapat po, armasan natin sila at protektado ang kanilang pangangatawan," Go said.

On March 2, healthcare workers and other frontliners in the following COVID-19 referral hospitals have been inoculated: Pasig City General Hospital, Amang Rodriguez Medical Center, Pasay City General Hospital, Taguig- Pateros District Hospital, Sta. Ana Hospital, Philippine Air Force General Hospital, Philippine Air Force, Villamor Airbase, Manila Naval Hospital, Army General Hospital, and Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo Station Hospital.

Frontliners in St. Luke's Medical Center in Taguig and Quezon City received their vaccines on March 3. Those in Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City are receiving theirs on March 4, and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City on March 5.

Duterte has also ordered for the vaccines to be stored in strategic locations in all regions throughout the country to ensure the equitable distribution of the doses according to the Senator.

Duterte and Go witnessed the turnover ceremony of the first batch of Sinovac vaccines which arrived in the country on February 28. The Sinovac vaccines, which are the country's first batch of COVID-19 jabs, consist of 600,000 doses donated by China.

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