AstraZeneca will provide 2 million additional vaccines to the Philippines
On Friday, the Philippine government received over two million additional doses of AstraZeneca vaccine via the COVAX Facility, bringing the total number of vials donated to Manila by the WHO-led effort to over seven million.
The newest cargo arrived a day after Tokyo contributed 1.12 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines produced in Japan, a significant boost to the country’s stockpile and progress toward its goal of inoculating 70% of its people by the end of 2021.
An Emirates aircraft carrying the 2,028,000 shots arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport around 4 p.m., and was greeted by Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. of the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19, as well as officials from the WHO, UNICEF, and USAID.
The vaccine will be given to individuals who have not yet got their second dose as well as those in priority categories A1 to A3, which include front-line workers, elderly residents, and those with comorbidities.
In a media interview, WHO Representative to the Philippines Rabindra Abeyasinghe said, “This is a vital important supply right now as we look at how we can increase the protection and coverage among the A2 and A3 groups, so we are urging the government to use these vaccines to ensure that A2 and A3 groups have received their full vaccination.”
Starting next week, the COVAX Facility will also supply 3.2 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine to the nation, according to Abeyasinghe.
UNICEF Philippines’ Mariella Castillo said that the COVAX Facility remains committed to providing at least 44 million doses by the end of the year, covering about 20% of the country’s population.
Galvez said that this newest supply would be deployed shortly, with 1.5 million pills being utilized for second treatments and the remaining doses being sent to other strategic locations.
“It will be distributed to various regions throughout the country, with those with susceptible A1, A2, and A3 being prioritized,” he added.
Meanwhile, he expressed gratitude to the US for future J&J vaccine contributions, which he claimed will be distributed in rural regions of the Philippines.
“We’ve promised to provide at least 100,000 dollars to each area, including the BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). UNICEF has recently returned from Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, and we will take their advice and prioritize the BARMM “he said
On Friday, the nation will get additional 132,200 Sputnik V injections as part of Gamaleya’s 20 million doses order, with at least 50,000 serving as second doses for individuals who have already been vaccinated.