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A $250 million loan from the Asian Development Bank will assist increase the supply of Covid-19 vaccination in the Philippines.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $250 million loan to assist the Philippine government in obtaining additional coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine supplies in order to improve Filipinos’ health security and ensure a safe and steady economic recovery.

The funds will enable the government to purchase 40 million additional doses of the Covid-19 vaccine for children and adult booster shots.

“The Philippines has consistently improved its capacity for testing, tracing, isolating, and treating Covid-19 cases, as well as aggressively pursued Covid-19 inoculation for its population,” said Sakiko Tanaka, ADB Principal Social Sector Specialist for Southeast Asia.

“With the emergence of new Covid-19 variants, ADB is supporting the government’s efforts to provide vaccines to protect its citizens and save lives.” Vaccination will allow the healthcare system to better manage the virus’s effects while also assisting in economic recovery. It is critical to the country’s complete recovery from the pandemic,” she stated.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank will co-finance the project, titled Second Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit Covid-19 under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (HEAL2) Additional Financing.

The new assistance builds on the Asian Development Bank’s active support for the country’s overall Covid-19 health response and universal health care program.

ADB provided advance payments for vaccines and purchases of microsyringes and other vaccine-related items under the amended Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit Covid-19 under the Asia-Pacific Vaccine Access Facility, or HEAL, approved in January 2021.

It also funded investments in health infrastructure to supplement vaccination funding, such as laboratory upgrades and isolation facility development.

ADB assisted in the purchase of 85.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines through bilateral agreements through HEAL2, which was approved in March 2021, with 81 percent of the supply delivered as of 2 December 2021. As of December 2, 2021, this accounted for roughly half of the country’s vaccination supply.

As of December 6, 2021, more than 98 percent of HEAL2 funds had been committed to vaccine supply contracts.

The government has been able to expand its countrywide Covid-19 vaccination campaign thanks to these supply contracts.

More than 57 million Filipinos, or nearly 65 percent of the target population, had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as of Dec. 8, 2021.

The ADB approved the $600-million Build Universal Health Care Program on Nov. 19, 2021, to ensure that all Filipinos have equitable access to high-quality health care and financial security.

ADB will continue to provide technical assistance to the government on health information systems, logistics, procurement, gender, and environmental issues related to medical waste, in addition to vaccine financing.

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