The US Embassy in Manila said on Friday more doses of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines will continue to arrive in the country, benefiting the metropolitan areas of Cebu and Davao.
The embassy issued a statement as it welcomed the arrival in the Philippines of 2.28 million doses of the US-made Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on Thursday, the biggest shipment to arrive in the country to date.
“And in the weeks and months ahead, ever-increasing quantities of much-needed vaccines will continue to arrive. This shipment will be shared between the cities of Cebu, Davao, and Manila,” it said.
About 210,600 of the 2.28 million doses arrived in Cebu on Thursday night onboard an Air Hongkong cargo flight.
This delivery is the second tranche of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines delivered to the country, following the May 10 arrival of an initial 193,050 doses.
To date, the Philippines has received more than 5 million doses of vaccines through the COVAX facility.
The US is the largest contributor to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, a global initiative to support equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
Of the more than two million doses that arrived, 1.86 million were delivered to Manila, 210,600 to Cebu, and 210,600 to Davao.
“The United States is committed to leading the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic. And we will continue to support the Philippines’ vaccination and Covid-19 mitigation efforts as its reliable friend, partner, and ally,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law said.
Developed jointly by American pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. and German biotechnology company BioNTech SE, the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine was the first to receive emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization and is 95 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 illness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The June 10 arrival is the fifth shipment of COVAX-sourced Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines, which is among the first countries in Southeast Asia to receive Covid-19 vaccines through COVAX.
In total, COVAX will provide 44 million doses to the Philippines, vaccinating one in five Filipinos.
In February, the US announced a total planned contribution of P194.4 billion ($4 billion) to the COVAX facility.
The US has worked closely with Philippine stakeholders throughout the pandemic to protect public health and strengthen local response to Covid-19.
To date, total US government Covid-19 assistance to the Philippines has amounted to nearly P1.3 billion ($27 million). SOVEREIGNPH