The United States welcomes the successful arrival ofan additional of 38,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines has arrived to complete the initial delivery of 487,200 doses last March 4 for a total of 525,600 doses secured by the Philippine government as part of the first round of allocated doses from the COVAX Facility, a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable access to vaccines led by the World Health Organization and Gavi Alliance.
“Another good news indeed,” said Senator Bong Go, “a sure way of acknowledging our international partners who are unceasingly working with our inter-agency task force
in securing a steady supply of Covid-19 vaccines.”
“The United States is proud to be the largest contributor to COVAX, and we welcome the successful arrival of the first tranche of AstraZeneca vaccines in the Philippines. As we fight the pandemic together, the United States will continue to support the Philippines’ vaccination and Covid-19 mitigation efforts,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law.
The United States already has donated Php97.2 billion ($2 billion) to COVAX, by far the largest contribution, to ensure the Philippines and other countries receive COVID-19 vaccines. This represents only half of the total US pledge of $4 billion.
The U.S. contributions to COVAX, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will support the purchase and delivery of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for the world’s most vulnerable and at-risk populations in 92 low- and middle-income countries. This support is critical to controlling the pandemic, slowing the emergence of new variants, and helping to restart the global economy.
Other donors are Germany $1 billion, United Kingdom $735 million, European Union $489 million, Japan $200 million, Canada $181 million, Saudi Arabia $153 million, and Norway $141 million.
“With the arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccines in the country — all 525,600 doses — there is no doubt that the WHO-led COVAX is committed to carry out its crucial role of ensuring that less-developed nations have equitable access to life-saving vaccines,” said National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
“Sa ngayon meron na po tayong 1.1 million doses para sa ating mga (As of now, we already have 1.1 million doses of vaccines for our) healthcare workers,” Galvez said in an interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City.
The vaccine will be immediately deployed to high-risk communities.
A total of 54,500 AstraZeneca doses have been sent to hospitals in National Capital Region (NCR), Region 4-A (Calabarzon) and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). NCR got 1,500, Calabarzon received 13,000, CAR 10,000 doses, and Central Luzon 20,000.
“For this week, to all regions, we will be deploying 240,720 doses,” he said.
“Ang ating maayos na vaccine roll-out ang tanging susi at solusyon upang tuluyang malampasan ang pandemyang hinaharap natin,” Senator Go added. “Prioridad natin ang mga frontliners at dahil nauna ang Sinovac, sa pagdating nitoong AstraZeneca magkakaroon na sila ng mapagpilian kung alin sa dalawa ang gusto nilang bakuna.”
The government is targeting to complete the inoculation of healthcare workers within March and start with other priority sectors by April.
“Huwag tayong matakot sa bakuna, matakot tayo sa Covid. We must continue building our people’s confidence in the vaccines and allay their fears while remaining vigilant against an unseen enemy,” appealed Bong Go.