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Philippines formally expresses intent to join COVAX facility

The Philippines formally expressed its intent to join the Gavi COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, which aims to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines.

To recall, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) approved the country's participation in the facility last July.

According to Roque, the approval included a "corresponding allocation of funds."

The objective of the COVAX is to deliver two billion doses of safe and effective vaccines to all participating countries by the end of 2021.

Priority will be given to healthcare workers. The program will then be expanded to cover 20% of the population of participating countries. Further doses will be made available based on country need, vulnerability and COVID-19 threat.

The Departments of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Interior and Local Government (DILG) are now preparing for the solidarity trials.

The DOST has since recommended an P89-million budget for the operational cost across 12 study sites, while the test vaccines will be shouldered by the World Health Organization (WHO). — Jon Viktor Cabuenas/DVM, GMA News