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COVID vaccines

Philippines starts COVID vaccinations, courtesy of China

Duterte plans Beijing trip to personally thank Xi, eyes 2023 return to normalcy

Philippine General Hospital Director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi receives the Philippines' first shot of a coronavirus vaccine on March 1, as the country kicked off its immunization drive. (Photo courtesy of Philippine government)

MANILA -- The Philippines began COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday using jabs donated by Beijing, giving the country's immunization program and diplomatic ties with China a shot in the arm.

The rollout of Chinese-made vaccines comes as President Rodrigo Duterte's government faces criticism for lagging behind the region in vaccination drives. Duterte plans to visit China later this year to personally thank President Xi Jinping.

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