Australia donated an initial 700,000 Australia-made COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Philippines.
Australian Ambassador Steven J. Robinson AO handed over the vaccines to National Taskforce Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer of the Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr and Department of Health Secretary Franciso Duque III upon their arrival in Manila.
The 700,000 AstraZeneca doses were manufactured in Australia’s world class CSL and Seqirus laboratories in Melbourne.
“Australia remains steadfast in our commitment to support our friends, the Philippines, to boost its national vaccine rollout and sustain its recovery. I am very pleased that the Australian Government continues to make an important contribution to the Philippines COVID-19 response and vaccine access and delivery needs,” the Ambassador said.
In a joint statement Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja announced that, by the end of 2022, Australia will share a total of 2.2 million COVID-19 doses with the Philippines.
The 2.2 million donated doses, including the 700,000 delivered on 24 November, will come from Australia’s domestic supply. This is in addition to Australia’s earlier commitment to procuring approximately 1.4 million doses on behalf of the Philippine Government via UNICEF.
Through donations and procurement, Australia will provide approximately 3.6 million doses in total by the end of 2022. This will make a substantial contribution to boosting the Philippines’ vaccine supply.
Yet more doses are being supplied to the Philippines by the COVAX AMC Facility, to which Australia has contributed AUD130 million in core funding.
Ambassador Robinson said, “Our dose donations, procurement and COVAX AMC funding will boost the Philippines’ supply. But we recognise that the Philippines also needs to address complex distribution challenges to ensure that doses reach the people who need them. This is why we are providing comprehensive, end-to-end delivery assistance, including PHP1.19 billion [AUD32.03 million] worth of vaccine delivery support which will enhance the Philippines’ capacity to distribute doses to remote areas and to vulnerable populations.”