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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

More vaccines to follow says WHO's Abeyasinghe

Over 480,000 doses from COVAX facility arrive

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte personally witnessed the arrival of some 480,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines flown in by KLM Royal Dutch Airline flight at about 9:00 P.M., Thursday.

Speaking at the Welcome Rites at Villamor Air Base, President Duterte said vaccines are a public good as the need for solidarity cannot be made clearer with the pandemic.

“No one is safe globally until everyone is safe,” President Duterte said as he commended the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Department of Health, members of the Diplomatic Community represented by the difference ambassadors in attendance and everyone who made the vaccines accessible to the Filipino citizenry.

“Positive engagement (with the international community) is very much welcome,” he added as the arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines “will boost our national vaccine program as it followed the arrival of Sinovac vaccines last Sunday as well as the successful rollout of the vaccines to the different hospitals.

Vaccines are a public good, need for solidarity, cannot be made clearer with this pandemic, no one is safe globally until everyone is safe.

Commended IATF – and DOH – thank the key partners in the international community with the ambassadors in attendance. Positive engagement is very much welcome – manufacuted by the US with Oxford University will boost national vaccine program.

After arrival of Chinese vaccines and successful rollout in different hospitals. AstraZeneca making it eligible for distribution and use in the country.

“Please get vaccinated against COVID-19, be a government partner in preventing the spread of the disease,” he concluded.

WHO Country Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said the COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility is a testament to the “strength of collaboration, cooperation and compassion.” He said it is the result of working together towards a common goal “in the spirit of partnership, equity and solidarity.

He also acknowledged the “tireless work” of the Philippine government, WHO Western Pacific Regional Office under Director Takeshio Kasai, his colleagues at Unicef.

Dr. Abeyasinghe added the delivery earlier will be followed by some 4.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines before the end of May this year.

“The vaccines from the COVAX facility will protect some 20% of the population,” Dr. Abeyasinghe added. He appealed to his audience to maintain the basic health protocols to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. (Melo M. Acuña)

President Rodrigo Duterte inspecting a vial of AstraZeneca vaccines. During the same event, President Duterte called on the medical frontline workers to avail of the vaccines. (Screen grab from RTVM/PCOO broadcast and PCOO provided photo. (Melo M. Acuna)

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