Top COVAX donors US, EU welcome arrival of AstraZeneca jabs in Philippines
Workers carefully unload the crates containing the doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca at the Bulwagang Kalayaan in Villamor Air Base, Pasay City on March 4, 2021.
Presidential Photo/King Rodriguez

Top COVAX donors US, EU welcome arrival of AstraZeneca jabs in Philippines

(Philstar.com) - March 5, 2021 - 3:17pm

MANILA, Philippines — Major contributors to the World Health Organization co-led COVAX facility welcomed the arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines in the Philippines.

After delays, 487,200 doses of the vaccine produced by the Swedish British drugmaker arrived in the country on Thursday night.

Both the United States and the European Union welcomed this latest development.

The US Embassy in Manila said it has initially donated P97.2 billion ($2 billion) to COVAX "to ensure the Philippines and other countries receive 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,” US Chargé d’Affaires John Law said in a statement released Friday.

In February, the US pledged to donate a total of P194.4 billion ($4 billion) to the COVAX facility to help the world's most vulnerable and at-risk populations in getting COVID-19 vaccines.

Team Europe, consisting of the EU and its member states with the European Investment Bank, meanwhile said it has to-date provided P130 billion (€2.2 billion) to COVAX.

No one is safe until everyone is safe. His Excellency Luc Véron, Ambassador of the European Union to the Philippines,...

Posted by European Union in the Philippines on Thursday, 4 March 2021

EU Ambassador Luc Véron highlighted that the Philippines will receive vaccines for 22 million Filipinos under the COVAX facility.

"The EU has both a responsibility and interest to make vaccines available to all. The European Union has maintained its goal to work in solidarity for vaccine cooperation and multilateralism — none is safe until everyone is safe," Véron said Thursday.

According to one of the officials leading the country's pandemic response team, the government may start distributing the AstraZeneca jabs on Friday or Saturday.

“Maybe the distribution of AstraZeneca vaccine to different hospitals will begin either later today or tomorrow,” Vince Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said in an interview on Teleradyo. — Patricia Lourdes Viray with report from Gaea Katreena Cabico

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 5, 2021 - 8:50am

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

August 5, 2021 - 8:50am

People have been flocking to malls in the city of Manila that have been designated as vaccination centers. According to reports by ABS-CBN News, some had lined up overnight to get a vaccination slot only to be told in the morning that not everyone will be accomodated.

Residents of Las Piñas also started lining up in the early morning of Thursday in the hopes of getting a vaccine dose, ABS-CBN News also reports. 

August 3, 2021 - 8:27pm

Half of the population of the European Union has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to an AFP tally Tuesday, putting it ahead of the United States in the inoculation drive.

Nearly 224 million people across the 27 member states have been covered, with Spain leading the pack of larger countries with 58.3 percent of its population vaccinated, followed by Italy (54.4 percent), France (52.9) and Germany (52.2).

The figures mean Europe has now nosed ahead of the US in the vaccine drive. — AFP

July 22, 2021 - 8:18am

Another 1.5 million doses of Sinovac vaccine arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday. 

According to government data, around 5.03 million of the Philippines' total 109 million population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 almost five months into the government's inoculation campaign. 

July 15, 2021 - 5:16pm

Presidential adviser Joey Concepcion and several government officials welcome the arrival of the first tranche of AstraZeneca vaccines procured by the private sector.

“We are welcoming a total of 1.15M doses of AstraZeneca vaccines today ordered by the private sector and another 1.15 million doses in August and the rest are expected to be delivered in the coming months. A total of 2.75 million employees from close to 500 companies are expected to benefit from this—not to mention those who will benefit from the LGU procured doses,” Concepcion says.

“We want to help the government so that we can execute the vaccine rollout in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Allowing us to execute, we could focus on the vaccination of our employees, the LGUs could focus on its constituents, and the national government could focus on the rest that are not covered. We need a fast and almost perfect rollout and the private sector, with the arrival of these initial doses from AstraZeneca, can now do that for its employees," he adds.

June 28, 2021 - 12:05pm

The Philippine vaccination program has officially administered 10,065,414 doses COVID-19 vaccine, the Palace says.

A ceremonial 10 millionth dose was administered Monday morning in Valenzuela City.

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