MANILA, Philippines — The country received a total of 1,124,100 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from Japan on Thursday.
“Let me assure everybody that throughout the rollout we will prioritize the safety and quality of the vaccines we will be distributing,” President Rodrigo Duterte said as he welcomed the arrival of the donated doses at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.
Japan’s donation is on top of over two million AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX Facility that will arrive on July 9. Co-led by the World Health Organization, Gavi, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, COVAX aims to ensure all participating countries have equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Japan also pledged donations to other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.
The Philippines has so far received over 17 million vaccine doses – both donated and procured.
The national vaccination program is currently prioritizing medical frontliners, senior citizens, people with comorbidities, essential workers, and indigent individuals.
The government aims to vaccinate up to 70 million Filipinos by the end of the year in hopes of achieving herd immunity.
Reporting by Albert Rovic Tan