The Philippines on Friday received 1,877,600 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from the British government.

According to the British Embassy in Manila, the batch of jabs brought to 16.5 million the total of AstraZeneca doses procured between the Philippine government, local government units and the private sector as part of the UK’s “support to PH’s vaccination program and equitable access to vaccines worldwide.”

The vaccines arrived the same day the country started the pilot distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in select Metro Manila pharmacies and clinics.

The Philippines has received 213,487,520 Covid-19 vaccines from different manufacturers since February 2021.

More than 122 million have been administered as of Jan. 20, enough to fully vaccinate 56.8 million, partially vaccinate 59.6 million and boost 5.8 million Filipinos.

The country continues to face a surge in Covid-19 cases, brought about by increased mobility and the highly infectious Omicron variant.

It has 291,618 active Covid-19 cases as of Jan. 21. John Ezekiel J. Hirro