MANILA - The Asian Development Bank said Monday it approved a $250 million (P12.5 billion) loan to help boost the vaccine supply in the Philippines.
The assistance will cover the government's purchase of about 40 million additional doses of COVID-19 jabs for eligible children and booster shots for adults, the lender said in a statement.
"ADB is supporting the government's drive to provide vaccines to protect its citizens and save lives, especially with the emergence of new COVID-19 variants," ADB Principal Social Sector Specialist for Southeast Asia Sakiko Tanaka said.
"Vaccination will allow the health system to better manage the effects of the virus and will help sustain economic recovery. It is key to the country's full recovery from the pandemic," Tanaka added.
The ADB said the project called the Second Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit COVID-19 under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (HEAL2) Additional Financing, will be co-financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The ADB said it had also helped finance upgrades of laboratories and the construction of isolation facilities in the country.
The government aims to inoculate 70 percent of the population by the end of the year. It also recently initiated booster shots for the eligible sector.
In November, the country started vaccinating children aged 12 to 17.
At least 39.5 million have been fully vaccinated as of Dec. 8.