UK to donate 415,000 AstraZeneca doses to Philippines

The British government will donate COVID-19 vaccines doses to countries across the world, including the Philippines, as part of its response to the pandemic, announced British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. 

The United Kingdom on Wednesday night, June 28, announced 9 million doses would be shared with other countries, 5 million of which will be distributed through the COVAX global vaccine sharing facility, while the remaining 4 million will be donated directly to countries. 

“We’re doing this to help the most vulnerable, but also because we know we won’t be safe until everyone is safe,” Raab said. 

British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce said the UK was sending 415,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to the Philippines, which was part of the first batch of the 100 million doses the British government allocated to poorer nations. The vaccine doses were made by Oxford Biomedica in Oxford and packaged in Wrexham, North Wales. 

No details on the exact date delivery have been disclosed, though the British government said it would begin shipping out vaccines this week. 

In a statement, Philippine vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. expressed the country's gratitude and praised the UK for its donation.

“You are among the nations that are leading the global battle against COVID-19, as you have gone out of your way to protect as many people as possible through your humanitarian efforts,” he said. 

Galvez said the donation would go towards vulnerable sectors of the population and frontline uniformed personnel, in particular. 

Aside from the UK, the United States has donated 3.5 million Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses, while Japan has donated 1.1 AstraZeneca vaccines. China had also earlier donated one million Sinovac doses and 1,000 Sinopharm vaccines to the Philippines. – 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.

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