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Japan to donate AstraZenaca COVID-19 vaccine doses to Philippines

The Japanese government will donate AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Philippines, Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Kazuhiko Koshikawa announced on Tuesday.

"Glad to be the bearer of good news today! Japan will donate AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines, and we’ll make sure to deliver them at the soonest possible time so no one gets left behind during this pandemic," Koshikawa said on Twitter.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III also made the same announcement during a Senate of the Whole hearing on the government’s utilization of the P82.5-billion budget for the vaccination program.

“Japan Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi  just announced this morning the donation of Japan-made AstraZeneca vaccines to some countries, including the Philippines,” Dominguez said.

“We have not yet been officially informed of the number of doses that are going to be donated by Japan,” he added.

Dominguez also announced that rich countries have agreed to donate a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.

“The decision taken during the G7 summit this weekend, for the rich countries to donate a billion doses to COVAX could significantly increase our allocation,” he said.

According to vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., the Philippines already received a total of 8,329,050 COVID-19 doses from February to May.

For the month of June, the government’s target COVID-19 vaccine deliveries is at 10,804,820.

Meanwhile, around 11.670 million COVID-19 vaccines are expected to arrive in the country by July.

Galvez earlier said the government expects to achieve its target of herd immunity in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces by November.

The government is eyeing the inoculation of at least 70% of the Philippine population to achieve herd immunity before the end of 2021.

Currently, the government started vaccinating the medical frontliners, senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, and the economic frontliners. --KBK, GMA News