US to share 7M COVID-19 vaccine doses to Philippines, other Asian countries

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
US to share 7M COVID-19 vaccine doses to Philippines, other Asian countries
A health worker administers the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to an individual at FilOil Flying V Center on May 12, 2021.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is one of the countries that will receive a portion of United States’ excess coronavirus vaccines, the White House announced Thursday.

In a fact sheet, the White House said it would distribute an initial 25 million doses globally. These represent an initial tranche of a total of 80 million that the administration of President Joe Biden has pledged to ship overseas by the end of June.

Of the first 25 million, nearly 19 million will be given to global vaccine-sharing effort COVAX, which seeks to boost COVID-19 inoculation programs in lower-income countries. The US is the biggest COVAX donor.

According to the US plan, some seven million doses are allocated to Asian nations and islands in the Pacific. These include the following:

  • India
  • Nepal
  • Bangladesh
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Afghanistan
  • Maldives
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia
  • Thailand
  • Laos
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Taiwan
  • Pacific Islands

Some six million doses are allocated to nations in South and Central America and the Caribbean, five million are reserved for Africa.

The remaining six million doses will be shared directly with countries experiencing surges as well as partners and neighbors of the United States. 

“We are sharing these doses not to secure favors or extract concessions. We are sharing these vaccines to save lives and to lead the world in bringing an end to the pandemic, with the power of our example and with our values,” Biden said.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez earlier said the Philippine government had requested at least three million doses of the US’ surplus COVID-19 vaccines.

Since the inoculation drive in the country began in March, only 1.2 million Filipinos have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Meanwhile, 3.9 million have received one of the two doses. — with report from Agence France-Presse



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