Duterte thanks WHO, donors for AstraZeneca vaccines: Remembering poor nations ‘a plus for humanity’

Published March 4, 2021, 10:46 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has thanked the international community for donating the country’s latest supply of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines, saying the assistance to poor nations is a “plus for humanity.”

President Rodrigo Duterte

The President has relayed his gratitude for the “benevolence” of the donor countries after welcoming the arrival of 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines at the Villamor Air base in Pasay City Thursday, March 4.

The vaccines have been secured through World Health Organization’s COVAX facility, a global scheme to ensure equitable vaccine access and distribution during the pandemic.

The European Union and 11 other countries have donated the vaccines to the country.

“I don’t know how to express my gratitude to the donor countries. That you remembered the poor nations is in fact already a plus for humanity,” the President said in his remarks.

“And in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines and of the people, and all, I’d like to say again that we felt the gratitude in our hearts and may God bless you for your benevolence. Thank you,” he said.

The President said he appreciates the assistance of key partners in the entire international community represented by their ambassadors during the ceremony.

He said the cooperation of the international community in public health is “very much needed” while “positive engagement is very much welcome.”

He added that the AstraZeneca vaccines would provide a boost to the government’s vaccination program.

The list of donors of the AstraZeneca vaccines include Germany, European Union, Norway, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Austria and Greece.

The arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccines came a few days after the country received its first batch of Sinovac vaccines from China.

The government has started to distribute the Sinovac vaccines to health workers in various government hospitals.

The immunization of Filipinos, initially medical frontliners, will continue in the coming days.