A total of 299,520 doses of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine were donated by the United States (US) to the Philippines through the COVAX facility on Monday night, June 27.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. welcomed the delivery of the vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City.
The vaccines comprised the final batch of US-donated jabs to the country under the administration of President Duterte. Duterte’s term ends on June 30.
The latest batch of vaccines are intended for the vaccination of individuals aged 12-year-old and above.
“This represents the U.S and other allies’ [desire] to continue to help us. And I thank the US for committing themselves and not forgetting us during this pandemic from the first time that we met. Now, this will be our last donation to be received during the Duterte administration and it only shows the support of the US and other allies to the next government,” Galvez said.
According to the vaccine czar, this fresh shipment is a symbol of the United States’ continued commitment to help boost the Philippines’ national vaccination program and overall pandemic response efforts.
Since the rollout of the vaccination program, international development partners such as the United States, World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have helped ensure the steady arrival of the life-saving vaccines.
“The United States, the Philippines, and COVAX have been working together for more than a year now to bring safe and effective vaccines to the Philippines. Even though we’ve done a good job of getting a lot of people vaccinated, COVID is still with us. We still have to take our vaccines,” said US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava.
About 17 million more COVID-19 jabs from COVAX are expected to arrive in the country this year as the facility committed to replace the doses that already expired. Galvez did not mention how many vaccines have already expired.
To date, the country has received 245.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Around 74.2 million doses were donated by COVAX, including 35.7 million doses that were provided by the US government.
Based on data from the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) as of June 26, the country has administered 154,132,506 vaccine doses.
A total of 70,358,612 Filipinos have been fully vaccinated since the national inoculation program started in March 2021; and 14,947,878 individuals have received their first booster shot.