THE Philippines will be donating $1 million (P50 million) to the COVAX facility to repay its efforts in providing low-income countries access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The COVAX facility is co-led by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, May 31, noted that the initiative “helped a lot” with the country’s vaccination campaign.
“We were recipients of COVAX vaccines many times and it has helped a lot in our desire to vaccinate Filipinos,” he said.
“Ngayon sila naman ang nagkulang ng pera (Now that they are running out of funds), maybe because they are helping other nations all over the world, and as a beneficiary of the generosity of COVAX and the desire also to help people, we will answer their pleadings of donations,” he added.
According to Duterte, the Philippines will donate $1 million to COVAX “to return the goodwill that they have shown.”
He also acknowledged that the COVAX was one of the earliest initiatives to aid the country in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Magko-contribute po ako kasi napakabuti ng COVAX sa atin at a time we needed it most (I will contribute because COVAX has been very good to us at a time we needed it most). One of the earliest agencies to help us, aside from the contributions made by China,” said Duterte.
The COVAX facility is a global platform that aims to ensure fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries.
The Philippines has so far received over 2.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses through COVAX.
Of the number, 2,556,000 doses are from AstraZeneca and 193,050 doses are from Pfizer-BioNTech.
For his part, WHO country representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe said the country will receive an additional four million doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines through the COVAX facility in June.