MANILA – The Philippines is set to receive 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in Japan through a government-to-government donation, the Japanese Embassy in Manila announced Tuesday.
"We are working double time so these vaccines reach Philippine shores without delay. We hope this donation would help make the Philippines one step closer to its goal of herd immunity," the Embassy said.
In a tweet, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko said the shipment will arrive in Manila "tentatively on July 8".
The donation was formalized with the signing and exchange of notes between Embassy Chargé d'affaires ad interim Nakata Masahiro and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Nathaniel Garcia Imperial on June 29.
According to the Embassy, this was based on a request from the Philippine government and will be "outside of the COVAX arrangement".
"[A]fter the necessary arrangement to donate via COVAX is done, we will seek for donation via COVAX. However, until then, we seek for a government-to-government arrangement like as this time. That’s because we need prompt response to the situation of short supply of vaccines and the current serious situation of Covid-19," it told the Philippine News Agency.
Japan is among the four nations donating Covid-19 vaccines directly to the Philippines. The three others are China, the United States, and Australia. (PNA)