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Philippines receives Japan's donation of 1.1 million AstraZeneca doses

The Philippines on Thursday night received 1,124,100 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from Japan as the donated shipment landed at the Villamor Air Base.

President Rodrigo Duterte, Japanese embassy officials, National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) executives, were at the ceremonial turnover.

In his speech, Duterte thanked Japan, saying the vaccines would help the Philippines in its quest for herd immunity.

“Japan continues to be our strong partner in various development programs, our cooperation in fighting the pandemic is truly an indication of the deep friendship between our two countries,” Duterte said.

“Let me assure everyone that throughout our vaccination rollout, we will prioritize the safety and quality of all vaccines that we are distributing across the country,” he added.

Duterte urged the public to get vaccinated against COVID-19. He also urged all Filipinos to follow health protocols, even those fully vaccinated.

“I, therefore, urge everyone to get vaccinated and help prevent the further spread of the virus. We should all continue to follow safety rules and health protocols even when fully vaccinated,” he said.

Malacanang said the donation was part of Japan's initiatives to support Southeast Asian countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan’s Economic Minister Masahiro Nakata vowed to assist the Philippine government in its fight against the pandemic.

It was Nakata delivered the message of Japan Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide.

Japanese Ambassador Kazuhiko Koshikawa is currently on quarantine.

“Japan has ensured to provide COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines. This initiative is a clear testament to the deep-rooted bonds of friendship between our two nations,” Nakata said.

“Gagawin namin ang lahat ng aming makakaya upang malampasan ang mga pagsubok ng dala ng pandemya kasama ang Pilipinas,” he added.

[We will do everything we can to defeat this pandemic together with the Philippines.]

The Philippines has reported a total of 1,455,585 COVID-19 cases, of which 1,380,899 have recovered and 25,650 have died.

Meanwhile, the country has administered 12 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines—NB, GMA News