PH among nations to get free surplus COVID-19 vaccines from US – envoy
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines will be among the countries to receive free surplus doses of Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the United States, Manila’s top diplomat in Washington assured Friday.
“May inannounce si President Biden na magbibigay sila ng 80 million na doses of Moderna and AstraZeneca nilang stockpile dito. Ininform ako ng White House na kasama ang Pilipinas na bibigyan nila and it will be delivered…baka this June,” Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Romualdez said in an interview over Teleradyo.
(President Biden earlier announced that they will give 80 million doses of Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines in their stockpile here. I was informed by the White House that the Philippines is among those that will be given those doses and it will be delivered…maybe this June.)
“It’s actually free. It’s part of the help that they’re giving to allies, like the Philippines at saka sa ibang mga [and to other] countries that really need it also. Ang sinabi sakin ng White House, kasama ang Pilipinas dun sa first batch na ipadadala [The White House told me that the Philippines will be among to receive the first batch of those vaccine doses],” he added.
The White House said the vaccines will be delivered to the Philippines “as soon as possible,” according to Romualdez.
“I assume ‘di naman tatagal ng [it will not take] more than a month before they send it out and they’re using many of their military planes to start delivering this out to the many countries that really need it,” he added.
However, the volume of doses for the Philippines has yet to be finalized.
“Ngayon lang nila dinecide na kasama ang Pilipinas and in the next couple of days, sasabihin sa akin kung ilan ang mapapadala nila sa atin,” Romualdez said.
(They just decided today to include the Philippines and in the next couple of days, they will tell how many we will receive.)
He added that he already told vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. about the “good news” the embassy received from the White House.
“Tuwang-tuwa siya (Galvez) dahil medyo nagkaroon nga ng kaunting delay yung mga ibang inorder natin noon pa,” the ambassador said.
(He was so happy because there had been delays in the orders that we made earlier.)
“This is good news for us dahil talagang alam natin na [This is good news for now because we know that] we really need the vaccines and I know that the demand for these ones that are coming from the U.S. is very high,” he added.