COVID-19 vaccines

Philippines to receive 1 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses from Japan

Sofia Tomacruz
Philippines to receive 1 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses from Japan

DONATION. A vial of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine is seen at a vaccination center.

File photo by Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa says officials are working double time to ensure that the arrival of one million donated vaccine doses on July 8 is not delayed

The Philippines is scheduled to receive one million AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the Japanese government as early as July 8, Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa announced on Tuesday, June 30.

The update comes just two weeks after Japan’s announcement that the Philippines will be among countries which will receive AstraZeneca vaccines made in Japan. 

“One step closer to the Philippines’ goal of herd immunity? Count us in! One million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from Japan are expected to arrive in Manila tentatively on July 8,” Koshikawa tweeted on Tuesday. 

Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu earlier said the donation was part of Japan’s assistance to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and is outside of doses coming from the COVAX facility, to which Tokyo has donated funds. 

The Philippines is among recipient of vaccines from the COVAX global vaccine sharing facility, with at least 4 million vaccine doses delivered to the country so far as of end-June.  

Koshikawa said that Japanese officials would work double time to ensure that donated vaccine doses would arrive in the Philippines “without delay.” 

Aside from Japan, the United States earlier announced that the Philippines will be among countries that will receive vaccines from its stockpile through both the COVAX facility and direct deliveries. 

China had also earlier donated one million Sinovac doses and 1,000 Sinopharm vaccines to the Philippines. 

Vaccine doses donated to the Philippines are expected to boost the government’s vaccination drive as it waits for bulk of its purchased orders to arrive in the country. 

While the government has rolled out vaccines since March 1, vaccination itself has moved slowly as deliveries remained erratic, hampering local governments’ vaccine rollouts. Current vaccine supplies likewise lag behind the volume needed to cover priority sectors. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.