US welcomes latest delivery of over 2 million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses to PH

Published June 11, 2021, 10:48 AM

by Roy Mabasa

The United States government has welcomed the successful arrival to the Philippines of 2,282,850 doses of the American-made Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that will be shared among the cities of Manila, Cebu and Davao.

US Embassy Charge d’Affaires John Law (4th from right) joined Philippine in welcoming the arrival of more than 2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines at the NAIA on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (US Embassy)

In a statement Friday, the US Embassy in Manila said the latest delivery represents the second tranche of the Pfizer vaccine and the biggest shipment made to the Philippines so far. The Embassy assured that in the weeks and months ahead, ever-increasing quantities of much-needed vaccines will continue to arrive.

Of the more than two million doses that arrived, 1.86 million will go to Manila, 210,600 to Cebu, and 210,600 to Davao.

“The United States is committed to leading the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we will continue to support the Philippines’ vaccination and COVID-19 mitigation efforts as its reliable friend, partner, and ally,” said US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Law who joined Philippine officials in welcoming the arrival of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Thursday night.

On May 10, 2021, the US government delivered the first tranche consisting of 193,050 doses of Pfizer vaccines to the Philippines. This brings the total number of US vaccine delivery to the Philippines to more than five million vaccines through the COVAX facility. The US is the largest contributor to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, a global initiative to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, funding more than one in four vaccinations in the Philippines.

The latest shipment is the fifth under the COVAX-sourced COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines, among the first countries in the region to receive COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX.

COVAX is expected to provide a total of 44 million doses to the Philippines, vaccinating one in five Filipinos.

Developed jointly by American pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. and German biotechnology company BioNTech SE, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was the first to receive emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization and is 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 illness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In February, the US announced a total planned contribution of Php194.4 billion ($4 billion) to the COVAX facility.

On Thursday (Friday morning in the Philippines), US President Joe Biden announced that the United States will purchase and donate 500 million Pfizer vaccines to 92 low and lower middle-income countries and the African Union, the largest-ever purchase and donation of vaccines by a single country.

Throughout the pandemic, the United States has worked closely with Philippine stakeholders to protect public health and strengthen the local response to COVID-19. To date, total U.S. government COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines amounts to nearly Php1.3 billion ($27 million).