The US Embassy in Manila announced that the White House has officially named the Philippines as one of the recipients of its vaccine donation with delivery expected soon.

The US is donating about 80 million doses of US-made coronavirus vaccine worldwide by the end of the month.

Last June 3, it announced that the initial 19 million doses would be shared through COVAX Facility while approximately six million doses will be sent directly to countries in immediate need or those experiencing surges.

Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law said in a virtual briefing said “The President’s been very clear on the US commitment to help countries throughout the world on this. We’re going to be seeing vaccines in significant numbers arriving in the Philippines and countries all around the world.” 

The embassy official hopes  Manila’s portion to be delivered “soon.” However, he did not give a specific date, citing the logistical aspects that the White House needs to sort out first.

“The White House is currently looking at not only the logistical aspects but also, of course, each country may have different regulatory aspects, we’re talking about different as well, so I think the White House needs a little bit of time to sort those out but I would expect the announcement very soon,” he said.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson described as a “gesture of friendship” the inclusion of the Philippines in the list of the United States government’s recipients of the first 25 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be shared.

He thanked the United States for making the Philippines one of the first beneficiaries of its COVID vaccine-sharing strategy.

But he also suggested that this be done bilaterally if possible, to make sure Filipinos get the vaccines sooner, even as he pushed for greater efforts by our government to enhance people’s trust in the vaccines.

“Thank you. We won’t forget this gesture of friendship. Unless World Health Organization protocols are too strict on vaccine donations, it would be better if it’s done bilaterally instead of through COVAX. Our people need the vaccines ASAP,”  said Lacson on his Twitter account.

To be coursed through COVAX Facility, approximately seven million doses will be donated to Asia, including the Philippines, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Maldives, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan, and the Pacific Islands.Its direct donation, meanwhile, will be targeted toward regional priorities and partner recipients, including Mexico, Canada, and the Republic of Korea, West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Haiti, Georgia, Egypt, Jordan, India, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as for United Nations frontline workers.