MANILA, April 11 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines on Sunday received the second batch of Sinovac Biotech's CoronaVac vaccines purchased from China.
The Philippine Airlines, which flew the vaccines to Manila, handed over the shipment to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, the official in charge of the Philippines' vaccine procurement efforts.
The Philippines is ramping up its vaccination efforts as it continues combating a surge of COVID-19 infections fuelled by the more infectious coronavirus variants. The government aims to inoculate up to 70 million Filipinos this year to achieve herd immunity, starting with health care workers and the elderly.
With the arrival on Feb. 28 of the first batch of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines donated by China, the Philippines kicked off its vaccination campaign on March 1.
The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported on Sunday 11,681 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing its total tally to 864,868. The COVID-19 related death toll rose to 14,945 including 201 more deaths newly recorded in the Southeast Asian country.