Sat. May 8th, 2021

The European Union (EU) is extending a 2.3-million euro (about P132.62 million) aid to the Philippine government that would be used to acquire vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) from the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization (WHO).

(FILE PHOTO: Reuters/File Photo)

“In December 2020, the EU has signed a contract with the WHO over 20 million euro to support the Covid-19 response in Asean (Association of Southeast Asian) countries. About 2.3 million euro of this amount will directly support WHO’s work in the Philippines,” the delegation said in a statement.

“One focal area will be on the vaccine rollout, including support to reach vulnerable and isolated communities in the Philippines,” it added.

The delegation also assured that the Philippines is exempted from the EU’s export ban on Covid-19 vaccines.

COVAX is the WHO’s mechanism to assure poorer countries also have access to Covid-19 vaccines.

The EU has so far secured a portfolio of about 2.3 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines for its citizens.

Its contracts include about 400 million doses of vaccines with AstraZeneca, 300 million with Sanofi-GSK, 400 million with Johnson and Johnson, 600 million with BioNTech-Pfizer, 405 million with CureVac, and 160 million with Moderna.

It also concluded exploratory talks with Novavax, eyeing to procure up to 200 million doses from the company and with Valneva with a view to purchasing up to 60 million doses.Should all vaccines candidates turn out to be safe and effective, the EU member states “have the possibility to donate part of their doses to lower and middle-income countries,” the delegation said. SOVEREIGNPH

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