MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday reiterated his call for universal access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Speaking at the GAVI COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) One World Protected Summit, Duterte said there is a need for better access to vaccines due to the glaring imbalance in vaccine distribution in the world.
"This imbalance must be corrected – or there will be no real and inclusive global recovery to speak of," he said via a video message.
Duterte also thanked the GAVI, a vaccine alliance of public and private organizations, and encouraged more countries to contribute to its cause.
The Philippine government earlier pledged $1 million as contribution to the COVAX initiative.
“It is our moral responsibility to help each other and face this crisis with greater solidarity and urgency. While modest, our contribution demonstrates our firm commitment to this global fight against COVID-19,” Duterte said.
The event, co-hosted by Japan Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and GAVI Chair of the Board Jose Manuel Barroso, aims to fill the 1.7 billion gap of the COVAX initiative to provide COVID-19 vaccine doses for lower-income countries.
Last April, the COVAX facility launched a push for an extra $2 billion in donations to buy more vaccines in a bid to ensure that the 92 poorest participating economies can access coronavirus jabs, with the cost covered by donors.
The Philippines has so far received more than 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca and 193,050 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX program.
Rodrigo Duterte, COVAX, GAVI Alliance, COVID-19, coronavirus, COVID-19 vaccine, universal access COVID-19 vaccines