The Philippines is set to receive a portion of the 80 million COVID-19 vaccines from the US and will be among the list of countries to be given priority. 

The said vaccines come from the US’ surplus of shots. At present, the country has fully inoculated 41.2 percent of its population and has provided 1.9 billion shots to its citizens.

According to Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manual “Babe” Romualdez, the country – as an ally of the US – will be part of the first batch to be given anti-coronavirus shots. 

However, he noted that the exact number of vaccines to be donated is still not known.

“Tayo, nando’n na sa first batch that will be sent out. But we still don’t know how many will be given to us,” Romualdez said in a press briefing on Monday.

Romualdez noted that the donations will come without conditions attached to it and is just a part of the US’ strategy to help other nations cope with the pandemic.

“This donation [is] without any strings attached to it, so to speak. It’s just really part of a program that they have, that will start really helping other nations to be able to fight this virus,” he stressed.

The 80 million vaccine donation will be composed of 60 million AstraZeneca anti-COVID jabs and 20 million doses of Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which will be sourced from the country’s stockpile. 

US President Joe Biden is expected to announce the details of the said donations this week. 

Romualdez said the delivery of the vaccines will likely take no more than a month. According to him, the White House informed that they want the vaccines shipped out ‘as soon as possible.’

At present, the Philippines has acquired 8 million COVID-19 vaccines – the majority of which were sourced from Sinovac Biotech. 

The country has fully vaccinated 1 million Filipinos and is set to expand its vaccination drive this June – which is now on its third month – to the A4 priority group composed of essential workers.

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