President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said the Philippines will $1 million to the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility to repay its efforts in providing developing countries, including the Philippines, with free vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In a pre-recorded speech, Duterte said the COVAX Facility has formally asked the Philippines, among other countries, for donations so they can purchase Covid-19 vaccines distributed to other countries.
“They have asked the Philippines formally for a donation. I will contribute because COVAX has been good to us. At a time, we needed it most, [it was] one of the earliest agencies to help us aside from the contributions made by China,” he said.
Duterte said the global initiative has “helped a lot” in the country’s Covid-19 vaccination drive.
Meanwhile, he acknowledged that the COVAX may be lacking funds “maybe because they are helping other nations all over the world.”
“As a beneficiary of the generosity of COVAX and the desire also to help people, we will answer their pleadings of donation. Philippines is giving USD1 million. It’s our turn also to return the goodwill that they have shown,” he added.
The COVAX Facility is a global initiative that guarantees access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.
Government data showed that the country has received over 2.7 million Covid-19 vaccine doses through the COVAX Facility.
WHO country representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe earlier said the Philippines is expected to receive additional 4 million doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines through the COVAX facility in June.
The country now has four brands of Covid-19 vaccines in its inventory namely Sinovac’s CoronaVac (China), AstraZeneca (UK), Sputnik V (Russia), and Pfizer (US).More than 5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered since the Philippines launched its vaccination drive on March 1. SOVEREIGNPH