MANILA, 16 September 2022—To date, the Department of Health (DOH) has received 2,280,000 doses of pediatric Pfizer vaccines from the Australian Government through the support of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). An additional 720,000 doses will arrive within the same week to complete three (3) million pediatric Pfizer vaccine doses. This is part of the six (6) million total pediatric Pfizer vaccine doses to be donated to the Philippine Government by the end of this year in support of the COVID-19 recovery of Filipinos, including children who have now started going back to school.
“Promoting children’s health and well-being is everyone’s responsibility. Helping children recover from the effects of COVID-19 requires a concerted effort from all sectors of society. By strengthening our partnerships and growing our collaboration with one another, we achieve more for children,” said UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov.
The Australian Government’s comprehensive package of COVID-19 assistance for the Philippines begins with the delivery of vaccines and extends to the last mile to reach the most vulnerable children. Australia’s support through UNICEF Philippines also included the procurement and delivery of solar-powered vaccine refrigerators, walk-in cold rooms, personal protective equipment and spare parts, ensuring that life-saving vaccines reach geographically isolated and disadvantaged communities. To improve the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, the Australian Government has also helped to train 490 health staff on cold chain management and provided public health messaging to 8 million people in 14 local government units.
“We are pleased to be playing a role in ensuring all Filipino children can recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These vaccines are an important part of the Australian Government’s support for children in the Philippines, which extends across the health, education sectors, and protection from abuse and exploitation,” said Mr. Richard Sisson, Chargé d’Affaires of the Australian Embassy to the Philippines.
UNICEF Philippines and the Australian Government have been partners for children for many years. Apart from COVID-19 assistance, Australia’s support includes SaferKidsPH, an initiative to reduce the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children in the Philippines, and risk-responsive social protection for women and children.
“We thank UNICEF and the Australian government for their unwavering support to promote the health of every Juan and Juana. We also congratulate our learners who continue to practice masking, hand washing, and maintaining physical distance in the classroom. Further, we extend our salutations and thanks to the Australian Government, for coming to the aid of our pediatric population and the rest of every Juan and Juana. With this new batch of vaccines, we hope that more parents will get their children vaccinated against COVID-19 for their protection and continued safe learning,” said DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.