Philippine envoy to Beijing, Ambassador Chito Sta. Romana said Tuesday China’s rollout of its massive Covid-19 vaccination program has gone “smoothly” and logged only a few “adverse events.”
Interviewed online on TV, Sta. Romana said over 40 million Chinese have so far been injected with vaccines made by Sinovac and Sinopharm, two Chinese vaccine manufacturers.
“Among the 40 million and it may already have reached 50 million by now because the target was to reach 50 million as of February 12 and then there was a Chinese New Year so there was a break… there’s hardly any report of a death, or any death if at all,” the envoy said.
Most of those vaccinated, he said, were among the high-risk population, including medical front-liners, and personnel working in the airport, transportation, and hotel and service industry.
Sta. Romana noted that some Filipinos have also received these vaccines, including a Filipino doctor working in a Chinese joint venture hospital he met a month ago. “He’s among the priority list. He let his colleagues get the shot first. In the beginning, he was not willing but when he saw the results and there were no side effects, he agreed and he said it’s been good so far,” he added.
“So that’s where it stands in China, so far so good. They’re hitting their target, it may not be on the exact day of Feb. 12 but certainly this week they’re going to reach 50 million,” he shared.
Sta. Romana said China is ramping up its production to provide the much-needed vaccine supply domestically and abroad, particularly in developing countries.
“The developed countries, you know, the United States, Europe, and other countries, they’re holding on to a big proportion of the vaccine production, they are certainly holding on to what is produced within their continents or within their countries, so China is playing the role of supplying the developing countries, so they have a lot of work to do to ensure that,” he said.
Sta. Romana said the Philippines, as one of its neighbors, is “pretty high” on China’s list of priorities for vaccine supply. “We’ll try to ensure through diplomatic talks with the Chinese officials that these (vaccine commitments) are delivered as scheduled and as promised.”
He said he believes the Philippines would be able to receive the vaccine donations Foreign Minister Wang Yi earlier promised last month, by end of February.