On June 10, the United States welcomed the successful arrival to the Philippines of 2,282,850 doses of the U.S. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the biggest shipment to date. And in the weeks and months ahead, ever-increasing quantities of much-needed vaccines will continue to arrive. This shipment will be shared between the cities of Cebu, Davao, and Manila.
This delivery is the second tranche of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines delivered to Manila, following the May 10 arrival of an initial 193,050 doses. To date, the Philippines has received more than five million vaccines through COVAX. The U.S. is the largest contributor to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, a global initiative to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, funding more than one in four vaccinations in the Philippines.
U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law joined Philippine Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr., Presidential Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Chief of Presidential Protocol Robert Borje, and other stakeholders at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to welcome the arrival of the second batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on Thursday night. Of the more than two million doses that arrived, 1.86 million will go to Manila, 210,600 to Cebu, and 210,600 to Davao.
“The United States is committed to leading the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we will continue to support the Philippines’ vaccination and COVID-19 mitigation efforts as its reliable friend, partner, and ally,” said Chargé d’Affaires Law.
Developed jointly by American pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. and German biotechnology company BioNTech SE, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was the first to receive emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization and is 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 illness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The June 10 arrival is the fifth shipment of COVAX-sourced COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines, among the first countries in the region to receive COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX. In total, COVAX will provide 44 million doses to the Philippines, vaccinating one in five Filipinos.
In February, the U.S. announced a total planned contribution of Php194.4 billion ($4 billion) to the COVAX facility.
The United States has worked closely with Philippine stakeholders throughout the pandemic to protect public health and strengthen local response to COVID-19. To date, total U.S. government COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines amounts to nearly Php1.3 billion ($27 million).