PH to receive 4.5M AstraZeneca doses, 2.3M Pfizer shots from COVAX scheme

Published May 8, 2021, 5:42 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

An additional 6.8 million coronavirus vaccines will be delivered to the Philippines under the global vaccine sharing scheme, the United States Embassy in Manila announced Saturday.

More than 2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines have been delivered to the Philippines through the COVAX facility on May 8, 2021 (US Embassy/Twitter)

The next batch of vaccine delivery was announced shortly after 2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in the the Philippines Saturday May 8 through the COVAX facility. The United States is said to be the largest contributor to the global vaccine distribution program with its initial $2 billion donation.

“The United States welcomes the May 8 arrival of two million additional doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines. This is the third shipment of vaccines made available through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, a global initiative to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines,” the US Embassy in Manila said in a statement Saturday.

“In the coming weeks, an additional COVAX allocation of 4.5 million doses of AstraZeneca is expected. COVAX also will provide over 2.3 million doses of the U.S. company Pfizer vaccine, with the first delivery imminent,” it added.

So far, the Philippines has received more than 2.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccines under the COVAX scheme. The first batch of 525,600 AstraZeneca jabs was delivered last March.

The Philippines is expected to receive a total of 44 million vaccine doses from COVAX.

The United States earlier committed to contribute $4 billion to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment in an effort to ensure fair access to vaccines among nations. An initial donation of $2 billion has already been given by the US.

“The Philippines is among the first countries in the region to have received COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility,” the US embassy said.

“The U.S. is by far the largest contributor to the COVAX effort, funding one in five vaccinations in the Philippines provided by the facility,” it added.

The United States has also provided nearly $27 million or P1.3 billion in aid to the Philippines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. “The United States has worked closely with Philippine partners throughout the pandemic to protect public health and strengthen local response to COVID-19,” the embassy said.

The latest vaccine assistance from COVAX comes as the country grapples with the rising coronavirus cases in recent weeks. As of May 8, the country has recorded 1,094,849 cases of infections with 1,013,204 recoveries, 6,979 active cases, and 18,269 deaths.

According to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., the latest COVAX vaccine donations will be given to health workers, senior citizens, and those with comorbidities.