MANILA - Japan is set to donate AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines, its envoy to Manila said on Tuesday, as the country continued to battle a spike in infections amid its inoculation drive.
In a tweet, Japan's Ambassador to the country Kazuhiko Koshikawa said his government will make sure the vaccines would be delivered "at the soonest possible time."
"Glad to be the bearer of good news today! Japan will donate AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines, and we'll make sure to deliver them at the soonest possible time so no one gets left behind during this pandemic," the tweet read.
A separate announcement from the embassy's Facebook page said the vaccine donation is part of Japan's assistance to member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), quoting Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.
The donation is outside of the United Nations-led vaccine-sharing platform COVAX Facility, according to the announcement.
"Foreign Minister Motegi just announced today Japan’s intent to donate AstraZeneca vaccines manufactured in Japan to the Philippines," it read.
"Close coordination will be done with the Government of the Philippines going forward for the swift delivery of these much-needed jabs."
During Motegi's public briefing on Tuesday, he said the vaccines would be shipped out in early July.
The announcements did not mention how many vaccine doses will be donated.
Japan will also donate COVID-19 shots to Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand "in a similar manner."
The Philippines still has a limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, which is compounded with delivery delays.
Based on the monitoring of the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, over 12.7 million doses of different vaccine brands have been received by the Philippines, as of June 13. They are as follows:
- 7.5 million doses Sinovac (59%), of which 6.5M doses were procured by the government and 1M were donated by China
- 2.56 million doses AstraZeneca (20.1%), all through COVAX
- 2.47 million doses Pfizer (19.4%), all through COVAX
- 180,000 doses Sputnik V (1.4%), all procured by the government
Since the vaccine rollout on March 1, nearly 7 million doses have been administered (6,948,549), and 1,879,694 individuals have been fully immunized.
The health department said the country is expecting delivery of 11 million more COVID-19 vaccines this month.