PH among 'priority countries' to receive share from 55 million US COVID-19 vaccine donations

Published June 22, 2021, 10:17 AM

by Roy Mabasa

The Philippines will be among the priority recipient countries to receive a portion of the latest 55 million tranche of United States government-donated COVID-19 vaccine doses to be distributed globally, the White House announced Tuesday (Monday night in Washington, D.C.).

The White House (via the White House website)

Based on a framework issued by the White House, the Philippines is slated to get its share from the approximately 16 million vaccine doses allocated for Asian countries that include the following: India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bhutan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, Cambodia, and the Pacific Islands.

A brief statement from the US Embassy in Manila said the Philippines will receive the latest vaccine tranche both through the COVAX facility as well as through direct donation.

This latest donation is in addition to the Philippines’ allocation under the previous June 3 pledge of President Biden of the first 25 million US vaccine doses shared globally, making the United States the “arsenal of vaccines for the world”.

“Earlier this month, the Administration announced the plan for the first 25 million doses that we have begun shipping, and today’s announcement completes the list for the remaining 55 million doses. For all of these doses, those most at risk, such as health care workers, should be prioritized, based on national vaccine plans,” the White House said in the statement.

The Biden-Harris Administration also expressed its commitment to work with American manufacturers to produce more vaccines to share with the world. Prior to attending the G7 Summit in Europe, President Biden announced that the US will purchase 500 million vaccine doses and donate them to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and members of the African Union.

The Philippines has so far received more than 5 million vaccines through COVAX, including American-manufactured vaccines Pfizer BioNTech.

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.

To date, total U.S. government COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines amounts to nearly Php1.3 billion ($27 million).