Wed. Jun 23rd, 2021

The Philippines will also get a share of the excess vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) of the United States through the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization (WHO).

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks as he tours a Pfizer manufacturing plant producing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S., February 19, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

“From what I am told by the White House, they are going through the COVAX facility. The United States, the biggest donor, they donated about 4 billion (doses) and so we expect them to give us almost the same amount that they gave us before, which is about 2 million doses and another 2 million from Pfizer,” Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said in a television interview on Monday.

Romualdez said the US had already donated 80 million of the promised 4-billion doses to COVAX.

“The 80 million is the beginning of the continuing efforts by the United States in giving out to the world,” he said.

The US, he said, is close to achieving herd immunity which they target to happen by July 4, the American Independence Day.

“When that happens, we expect the US, I guess will be more generous in giving out or at least making it available to the world, the vaccines that they have developed,” he said.

The US-made vaccine donations, he noted, will pass through the World Health Organization and Gavi Alliance-led COVAX facility.

“That is the vehicle that they have chosen because it’s very hard for them to give it from one country to the other so through COVAX, which has been able to study which country needs the [number of vaccines], and so on,” he explained.

The Philippines “definitely is a recipient” of the donations, Romualdez said, with some expected to be delivered by the second week of June.

The Philippines, he added, is also working to get booster shots from pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer towards the end of the year and until early next year.

“These booster shots can be combined with any other vaccine brands,” he said. SOVEREIGNPH

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