MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is set to receive more than 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that were donated by the United Kingdom (UK), the British Embassy said on Wednesday.
In a statement, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the AstraZeneca vaccine shots bound for the Philippines are part of the first batch of 100 million doses that the UK pledged to donate to low-income countries worldwide.
“The UK is sending 415,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to the Philippines. This is part of the first batch of the 100 million doses we’ve pledged to get the poorest parts of the world vaccinated as a matter of urgency,” Raab said.
“We’re doing this to help the most vulnerable, but also because we know we won’t be safe until everyone is safe,” he added.
The British embassy said the vaccines are expected to start leaving the UK this week.
The UK has pledged to donate 100 million vaccines overseas by June 2022. Around 80 million of which will go to World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility, with the rest going to countries directly
“The donations follow the pledge that G7 leaders made to vaccinate the world and end the pandemic in 2022,” the embassy said.
“This week’s deployment will help meet the urgent need for vaccines from countries around the world, including in Africa, South East Asia and the Caribbean. These regions are experiencing high levels of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” it added.
The Philippine government earlier said it has so far secured a total of 164 million vaccine doses from different vaccine manufacturers for this year through purchase as well as donations coming from the COVAX facility and other donor countries.