MANILA — “The need for international solidarity and cooperation cannot be made clearer than this pandemic because no one is safe globally until everyone is safe,” says President Rodrigo Duterte in his acceptance speech for the 487,200 AstraZeneca shots from donor countries.
He enjoins all government agencies to actively institutionalize and sustain the whole-of-government approach, while asking the public to cooperate and get vaccinated.
“Be the government’s partner in preventing further spread of the disease. I encourage you to get vaccinated at the soonest possible time. These vaccines are safe and they are the key to reopening our society, ” he says.
He also expresses the country’s gratitude to all COVAX donor countries and reiterates his earlier position that these shots “should be treated as a global public good.”
— Daniel Pruce 🇬🇧 (@DanielPruce) March 4, 2021
“I don’t know how to express my gratitude to the donor countries that you remembered the poor nations [it] is in fact already a plus for humanity. And in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines and of the people, and all, I’d like to say again that we felt the gratitude in our hearts and may God bless you for your benevolence,” he said.
In a statement, the EU Delegation in Manila said the bloc, as one of the contributors in the COVAX facility, has so far provided PHP130 billion to help 92 low and middle-income countries, including the Philippines.
“Team Europe is proud to contribute to the COVAX facility to help provide affordable and fair access to vaccines for Filipinos. Under COVAX, the Philippines will receive vaccines for 22 million Filipinos,” says EU Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Véron.
Life-saving doses, 487,200 shots in all, have finally arrived 04 March. This is the initial batch of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines through the COVAX facility.
The commercial carrier KLM brought the vials from Belgium and landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 a little past 7 p.m. where it was welcomed by President Rodrigo Duterte, with senior government officials, and members of the diplomatic corps.
Among those present are ambassadors Giorgio Guglielmino (Italy), Daniel Pruce (United Kingdom, Bjorn Jahnsen (Norway), Jorge Sanchez (Spain), Saskia DeLang (the Netherlands), Anke Reiffenstuel (Germany), Shambhu Kumaran (India), Kim In-Chul (South Korea), Michéle Boccoz (France), and Steven Robinson (Australia).
And there it is. Huge. pic.twitter.com/BWlKMod8kw
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) March 4, 2021
The vaccines were immediately transported to Metropac in Marikina for storage, with distribution expected to start as soon as expected after repackaging. (JSM/JuanManila)