US sends over 3M free Moderna jabs to PH

Published August 3, 2021, 6:15 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The United States (US) government donated a total of 3,000,060 doses of Moderna vaccine to the country Tuesday afternoon, August 3, as the national government races against time to ramp up the inoculation program due to the threat of the Delta variant.

The vaccines, delivered through the COVAX facility, were transported via Qatar Airways flight QR 932 which arrived at Terminal 3 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City at 4:12 p.m., according to online flight tracker FlightAware.

President Duterte led government officials in the turnover of the vaccines at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City. He was accompanied by vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., Department of Health Sec. Francisco Duque III, US Embassy Charge d’ Affaires John Law, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Cabinet Sec. Karlo Nograles, and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go among others.

The vaccines were the second tranche of donations sent by the US government to the country this year. The US had earlier donated 3,240,850 doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine which were flown in two shipments on July 16 and 17.

The donations formed part of Law’s commitment to allocate more donations to Manila after the J&J shipments last month.

Prior to this, US President Joe Biden vowed to distribute 80 million vaccines for free around the world. The US will purchase an additional 200 million doses of Pfizer around the world by the end of 2021, and another 300 million Pfizer jabs in the first half of 2022.

With the delivery, the country has now received 37,275,800 doses of procured and donated vaccines since February.

Of these, 3,500,460 doses are Moderna. There were also 19.5 million doses of Sinovac; 7,273,940 doses of AstraZeneca; 3,410,550 doses of Pfizer; 3,240,850 doses of J&J; and 350,000 doses of Sputnik V.