Locsin ‘deeply grateful’ to Germany, UK, EU and South Korea for the coming AstraZeneca vaccine shipments

Published March 3, 2021, 6:23 PM

by Roy Mabasa

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Wednesday said he is “deeply grateful” to Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) for the soon-to-be-delivered allocation of AstraZeneca COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) vaccines to the Philippines.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

This was hours after Malacañang announced that the Philippines will receive 487,200 doses of the vaccine developed by the British-Swede pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

“Thank you Germany, UK, European Union and the South Korean ambassador for making this happen. The AstraZeneca vaccines come from South Korea. Without the generous donations of Germany, UK EU and ROK there would be no COVAX allocation. Deeply grateful,” Locsin said in a tweet.

The AstraZeneca vaccines will be coming from the COVAX facility in South Korea. “Without these countries, COVAX wouldn’t get off the ground,” Locsin added.

The foreign secretary earlier said the actual delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines encountered logistical problems from its COVAX facility origin in South Korea.

“Donations don’t get a free cargo jet rides unless from China. Especially COVAX which is under cash strapped UN (United Nations)/WHO (World Health Organization),” he said.

The Philippines is expected to receive around 5.6 million doses from Pfizer BioNTech and AstraZeneca through the COVAX facility within the first quarter of this year.

Last Sunday, China delivered a total of 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s vaccine, CoronaVac, which forms part of the donation by the Chinese government.