Philippines to get portion of COVID-19 vaccine surplus from US: envoy

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 28 2021 01:28 PM | Updated as of May 28 2021 01:37 PM

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MANILA - The Philippines is going to be one of the countries who will benefit from the 80 million doses of vaccine stockpile that the United States has committed to the world, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez said Friday.

“Meron akong magandang balita which I just received this word from the White House. If you remember may in-announce si President [Joe] Biden na magbibigay na 80 million doses ng Moderna at AstraZeneca na kanilang stockpile dito. In-inform ako ng White House na kasama ang Pilipinas na bibigyan nila at it will be delivered even earlier so baka this June rin,” he said in an interview on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo. 

(If you remember President Biden announced to give 80 million doses of Moderna and AstraZeneca from their stockpile. I was informed by the White House that the Philippines is among the countries who will receive it and it will be delivered even earlier so maybe this June.)

Last week, the White House said the US will release an additional 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines abroad, bringing the total being shipped out to 80 million.

“It’s actually free. It’s part of the help they are giving allies like the Philippines saka ibang mga (and other) countries that really needs it also. Sinabi sa aking ng White House kasama ang Pilipinas sa first batch na ipadadala nila,” he said.

(I was told by the White House that the first batch to be delivered would include the Philippines.)

Romualdez said he has no information on the number of vaccines being sent to the Philippines.

“Yung sa 80 million wala pa. Ngayon lang nila dinecide na kasama ang Pilipinas and in the next couple of days sasabihin sa akin kung ilan ang ipapadala sa atin,” he said.

The ambassador said he already relayed the good news to vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr.

“Tuwang-tuwa siya dahil medyo nagkaroon ng konting delay sa ibang inorder natin noon pa. So this is good news for us dahil we really need the vaccines and I know that the demand for these ones that are coming from the US is very high," he said.

(He was happy because we had some delays in our previous orders.)

Aside from this, Romualdez said the Philippines is still expecting 2 million doses of COVID-19 shots through the vaccine-sharing COVAX facility next month. 

“Sa tingin ko magandang maraming nangyayari na like 'yung Moderna maliit pa lang dadating this June tapos July meron din darating so that’s about half a million to 600,000 doses. Definitely no later than end of July and August marami na talagang galing dito na vaccines Moderna and Pfizer at saka 'yung Johnson & Johnson,” he said.