Filtered By: Topstories

WHO exec: Philippines’ vaccine supply from COVAX at risk if priority list not followed

The Philippines’ supply of vaccines from the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility could be jeopardized if the country fails to follow the prioritization list in the rollout, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Thursday.

WHO country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe underscored that the vaccines from COVAX are intended to protect the most vulnerable groups: health workers, the elderly, and people with comorbidities.

“If we want to ensure that we continue to access the vaccines from the COVAX Facility, we need to demonstrate that we can follow this prioritization,” he said in a virtual briefing.

The COVAX Facility is a WHO-led initiative that seeks to ensure equitable access to vaccines, especially for poorer nations.

“If we cannot demonstrate that we are following this prioritization, unfortunately the COVAX may have to consider other options where the impact of the vaccine rollout will be more useful and practical and will contribute to saving more lives,” Abeyasinghe said.

He left the adherence to the prioritization list up to the Department of Health (DOH), saying that the WHO does not plan to “police” the rollout.


Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire urged compliance to the vaccine prioritization list.

“Kung saka-sakaling makapag-violate tayo nitong objective na 'to, na hindi natin nabigay sa mga tamang tao o health workers, maaaring ma-compromise or ma-jeopardize 'yung mga succeeding supplies from coming from COVAX Facility,” she said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said the DOH would probe the vaccination of certain individuals who are not health workers

Authorities will also reportedly look into the vaccination of House health committee chairperson Angelina Tan



The Philippines is set to receive 487,200 AstraZeneca doses from the COVAX Facility on Thursday evening. 

The COVAX Facility will donate up to 5.6 million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca in the first quarter of the year

The country’s vaccination program began on Monday with the rollout of 600,000 doses from China’s Sinovac.  — RSJ, GMA News