As officials bickered over the government’s supposed failure to get an initial shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in January, the World Health Organization announced that the global Covax Facility had secured two billion doses for 190 countries, including the Philippines.
WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said countries that had signed up to the Covax Facility would be able to obtain the vaccines in the first half of 2021 to protect those at high risk of infection, like medical frontliners.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed that the Philippines was among the 85 countries which had already submitted their requests to Covax. She said, however, that the Department of Health could not yet disclose details of the country’s request.
Covax is the vaccine arm of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, which aims to speed up the development, production and “equitable access” to coronavirus tests, COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.