America’s Moderna vaccine will be given to the poor, says President Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte welcomed the arrival Tuesday of more than three million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United States, which he said would be used to vaccinate the poor.

Speaking during the arrival of the vaccine at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to the United States and the COVAX facility for the latest vaccine shipment.

“I wish to thank the United States for the generosity in sharing various COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines,” the President said.

“I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the COVAX facility for the continuous donation of these vaccines. We look forward to the delivery of even more life-saving vaccines in the country very soon.”

The Philippines is equally grateful for the donations of key medical supplies and equipment and the provision of institutional support to the government’s COVID-response, he said, noting the aid will greatly help the Filipino people.

The cooperation between the Philippines and the US in overcoming the pandemic highlights the strong and deep friendship between the two countries, he stressed, adding the government’s next focus is to safely bring the vaccine to the people.

Underscoring America’s sentiment that the latest donation to the Philippines should go first to those who have least in life, the President made an assurance that the Moderna jabs will go to the arms of the poor ones who cannot afford inoculation.

“And for those, well, who do not want to be vaccinated, we will try to entice them with the vaccines given by the United States,” he said.

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The Philippines has so far received a total of 34.2 million coronavirus vaccine doses and expects to get 22.7 million coronavirus jabs for the month of August, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Monday.

To meet the growing monthly demand for vaccines in the regions and provinces across the country, the government must strive to deliver 25 million coronavirus vaccine doses monthly, he added.

Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, also reported that more than 9 million Filipinos are now fully protected against COVID-19 as a result of the country’s aggressive vaccination program.

He said the Philippines has administered 20.8 million vaccine doses, in which more than 11 million individuals have received the first jab, while 9.1 million have completed the two doses.

This makes up 12.87 percent of the targeted eligible population or 8.21 percent of the entire Philippine population. (PND)