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Philippines receives bivalent COVID-19 vaccines from Lithuania to combat original strain and Omicron variants

By NICK GARCIA Published Jun 04, 2023 10:31 am

The Philippines has received Lithuania's donation of over 390,000 doses of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, which are designed to correspond to the virus's original strain and Omicron variants.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on the night of June 3, marking the first time that the country got hold of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines.

The Department of Health (DOH) in a Facebook post said the negotiation for the vaccines started in August 2022 and the Lithuanian government offered them last January.

"It is with great pleasure that we have received such generous donations," DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said, adding that they're in "constant contact" with COVAX Facility, the worldwide initiative that seeks to give fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, for additional bivalent vaccine doses.

The DOH said healthcare workers and senior citizens will be the priority recipients of the bivalent vaccines.

One may receive their bivalent vaccine in about four to six months since getting their second booster dose, the agency noted.