The Philippines is one of the recipients of the largest supply of COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday.
The WHO’s COVAX Facility aims to vaccinate all countries in need. Most vaccines available in the Philippines are free from here.
“So we had some initial problems with setting up the mechanisms and the deliveries. We are happy to note that Philippines is receiving one of the largest consignment of COVAX vaccines. In this first initial consignment, [there’s] 487,000 doses,” said WHO Country Representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe.
487,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX are scheduled to arrive in the Philippines this Thursday night.
“We have already commitment from the COVAX Facility for delivery of up to 4.58 million AstraZeneca vaccines through to March, to May of this year,” said Abeyasinghe.
“We need to acknowledge that possibly the largest sacrifice has been made by health care workers, not only by putting themselves at risk, but also their immediate families,” said Abeyasinghe.
According to the WHO, although everyone is afraid of getting COVID-19, by vaccinating health workers it can be ensured that someone will take care of the patients.
PH gets one of largest vaccine allocations from COVAX: WHO
The WHO further asserted that there would be problems with access to the vaccine if the prioritization of health workers is not followed.
“If we cannot demonstrate that we are following this prioritization, unfortunately, the COVAX may have to consider other options where the impact of the vaccine rollout will be more useful and practical and will contribute to saving more lives,” said Abeyasinghe.
It is unclear whether COVAX will stop providing the vaccine if prioritization is not met.
All that the WHO said was to follow the set of the DOH and National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NITAG).
Prioritization for AstraZeneca vaccines is still being discussed, according to the DOH.
The DOH, on the other hand, confirmed that AstraZeneca vaccines can be given to senior citizens and those with comorbidities or pre-existing diseases but will still go through NITAG if they are prioritized.