The Philippines is expected to receive its first shipment of the single-dose vaccine by American drug firm Johnson & Johnson (J&J) this week, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. said on Monday.

Galvez said 3,239,400 doses of the J&J vaccine would arrive this week.

These will be deployed to far-flung regions and provinces in Visayas and Mindanao, Galvez said.

“Napakalaking tulong kasi one shot ang J&J at ito po ay ibibigay sa island provinces at sa lahat ng karatig-pook ng Mindanao at saka Visayas,” Galvez said during President Rodrigo Duterte’s weekly address.

The J&J vaccine will be the sixth vaccine brand to be used in the Philippines.

Galvez earlier said that the J&J jabs would come from the Covax facility.

Persons under the A4 priority group of the government’s Covid-19 vaccination program are ineligible for vaccines from the Covax facility, meaning the jabs may only be used for health workers, senior citizens, people with co-morbidities and the indigent population, overseas Filipino workers and other workers.

At least 14 million Covid-19 vaccines are expected to arrive before the month ends, Galvez said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro