To ensure global recovery, Duterte says vaccine access imbalance must be corrected

Published June 2, 2021, 10:08 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Real and inclusive global recovery from the pandemic cannot be achieved if there will be continued disparity in the distribution of coronavirus vaccines, President Duterte declared Wednesday.

President Rodrigo Duterte (File photo/Malacañang)

The President renewed his call for equitable vaccine distribution after pledging an additional $1 million to the COVAX facility, a global vaccine-sharing scheme, during a virtual global summit.

Addressing the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) summit, Duterte lamented the glaring imbalance in vaccine distribution after wealthy countries cornered more than 80 percent of the global supply.

“This imbalance must be corrected – or there will be no real and inclusive global recovery to speak of,” Duterte said.

During the summit, Duterte pledged “an additional one million dollars” as the country’s contribution to the COVAX facility “to aid in accelerating global vaccination coverage,” according to the Palace, increasing the total Philippine donation to $1.1 million.

“It is our moral responsibility to help each other and face this crisis with greater solidarity and urgency. While modest, our contribution demonstrates our firm commitment to this global fight against COVID-19,” Duterte said.

Duterte said the Philippines, both donor and recipient country, was counting on the COVAX facility to bring the much-needed coronavirus vaccines to developing countries.

He likewise expressed gratitude to the GAVI Alliance as well as urged other countries to contribute to the global initiative aimed at ensuring equitable vaccine access.

The country’s $1,000,000 donation to COVAX was first announced by the President during his televised address last Monday. A $100,000 contribution was offered last January.

The vaccine summit, hosted by Japan and global vaccine alliance, sought to raise an additional $2 billion from various governments and the private sector. The World Health Organization-led COVAX scheme was launched last year to deliver 1.8 billion doses low-income countries.

The Philippines has so far received over 2.7 million doses of vaccines under the COVAX facility. Authorities earlier announced that Manila will receive vaccines for 22 million Filipinos from the global scheme this year.