ANKARA

The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the autonomous Bangsamoro region from the Philippines on Thursday.

Health Minister Dr. Amirel Usman received 3,633 doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine from the national government, according to a statement by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao government.

It said health workers from different COVID-19 referral hospitals in the region will be prioritized in vaccinations.

The Philippines received the first batch of 600,000 doses from China last Sunday and kicked off its vaccination drive a day later.

Kristen Dadey, chief of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the Philippines, lauded the Philippines government for including Bangsamoro in the first round of the national vaccination campaign.

“Wonderful news & super happy,” she wrote on Twitter, adding that the “cold chain vehicles” being used to transport the vaccines were donated by the UK mission in Manila and the IOM.

Bangsamoro, a region of close to 5 million people, has reported less than 1,200 coronavirus cases, including 46 deaths, since December 2019.

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