MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte thanked the government of the United States for the three million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine it donated to the Philippines.
Duterte, along with some Cabinet officials, personally welcomed the arrival of the vaccines on Tuesday at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
The Moderna vaccines donated by the US were coursed through the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.
“I wish to thank the United States for the generosity in sharing various COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines,” Duterte said in his speech during the arrival of the vaccine.
“I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to the COVAX facility for the continuous donation of these vaccines. We look forward to the delivery of even more life-saving vaccines in the country very soon,” he added.
Duterte also thanked the US for the donations of key medical supplies and equipment and the provision of institutional support to the government’s COVID-response.
“All of these have helped, definitely will continue to help the Filipino people. Indeed, the cooperation between the Philippines and US in overcoming the pandemic highlights the strong and deep friendship between the two countries,” he said.
Duterte said the latest shipment of Moderna vaccine shots will be used to immunize poor Filipinos.
He said this is following America’s sentiment that its donation should go first to those who have the least in life.
“And for those, well, who do not want to be vaccinated, we will try to entice them with the vaccines given by the United States,” he added.
The Philippines has so far received a total of 34.2 million coronavirus vaccine doses.
It also expects to get 22.7 million coronavirus jabs for the month of August, as announced earlier by vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
Prior to the arrival of Moderna vaccines, the US also donated 3.2 million doses of single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the Philippines.
As of August 2, over 21.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country while 9.3 million people have been fully immunized.