MANILA – Australia is providing 13.72 million Australian dollars (approximately PHP505 million) worth of coronavirus vaccines to the Philippines.
Australian Ambassador to Manila Steven Robinson on Thursday said the vaccines will be purchased in coordination with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with a target delivery date within the year.
"This will make an important contribution to meeting the country’s vaccine needs in 2021. The Philippines will receive additional procurement and end-to-end distribution support to meet its needs under Australia’s new agreement with UNICEF to purchase safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the Philippines," he said.
The fresh aid is on top of its support through the COVAX Facility, where Australia has so far contributed around 130 million Australian dollars (approximately PHP4.78 billion).
Aside from the anticipated donations, Robinson said Canberra has also provided Manila at least 7.52 million Australian dollars (around PHP277 million) to boost its vaccine rollout through Australia’s Vaccine Response Plan.
Australia is the fourth country to allocate specifically to the Philippines the much-needed jabs, after China, the United States, and Japan.
Earlier, Tokyo said it will donate a still-undetermined amount of AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Japan upon the request of the Philippine government.
The Japanese Embassy in Manila also told the Philippine News Agency that "after the necessary arrangement to donate via COVAX is done, we will seek for donation via COVAX".
Washington DC, on the other hand, announced that it will course through the COVAX Facility approximately 7 million doses of vaccines to Asia, including the Philippines.
Beijing, meanwhile, earlier donated a total of 1 million doses of Sinovac jabs to Manila. (PNA)