MANILA, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Philippines received on Tuesday an additional batch of Sinovac vaccines donated by the Chinese government to help the Southeast Asian country recover quickly from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carlito Galvez, the chief implementer of the government's measures to combat COVID-19, thanked the Chinese government for the donation.
"Majority of these vaccines will be distributed to far-flung areas," Galvez told reporters at the airport in Manila, adding many Filipinos are considering taking the Chinese vaccine as a booster shot.
China's Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian expressed hope that the newly delivered COVID-19 vaccines will contribute to "healthy, safe" year-end holidays in the Philippines and boost the country's national vaccination program and recovery from the pandemic.
"Some countries might be interested in vaccine diplomacy, but China has been doing just everything we can to help in the spirit of Bayanihan (a Tagalog word which means the spirit of communal cooperation) and in the spirit of a fine tradition of supporting each other," he told reporters.
"We will continue to do our best to help until the final victory against the pandemic," Huang added.
The Chinese envoy said the economic cooperation between China and the Philippines boomed this year. "All this is contributing to the country's economic recovery. We are happy to see that our cooperation has become the driving force of the economic recovery in this country," Huang added.
China has sustained its COVID-19 vaccine supply to the Philippines since the first delivery on Feb. 28, allowing the country to kick off its vaccination drive on March 1.
The Philippines has administered more than 97 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Monday. Nearly 38 million people have been fully vaccinated.
To date, the Philippines has received more than 158.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from different vaccine makers, with China being its biggest vaccine supplier.
The Philippines has so far reported more than 2.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including more than 50,000 deaths.