PH 'COVAX eligible' to get free vaccine for 15% of population

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

February 27, 2021, 6:22 pm

MANILA - The Philippines is eligible to get free vaccines for at least 15 percent of its population under the COVAX facility, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. said Saturday.

"[The Philippines] is one [of] 92 countries COVAX eligible to get free vaccines for 15% of its population. I donated US$100,000. Also taking part in Covid-19 ASEAN RESPONSE FUND. I donated US$100,000. PH vaccine rollout underway, first shots first week of March. World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed we are ready," he said on his official Twitter account.

COVAX is a facility, co-led by Gavi (The Vaccine Alliance), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the WHO to ensure vaccine access for low- and middle-income economies.

Locsin said there are two ways to get vaccines under the COVAX facility. The first one is "fully subsidized, donor-funded" doses, under which the Philippines was allocated 117,000 indicative doses of Pfizer/BioNTech and 5,500,800 indicative doses of AstraZeneca from AstraZeneca-SKBio.

The second one is top-up doses fully paid through cost-sharing contributions with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank and also covers logistics and cold chain equipment.

"[The] President [is] sick and tired of delay. DFA is doing its job; (Vaccine Czar Carlito) Galvez straining every neuron and muscle to get it done fast but he is not the Czar of Everything. There’s no one better for the job he’s got," he added.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier confirmed that at least 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive in Manila on March 1 as part of the first round of allocated doses from the COVAX Facility. (PNA)