UN Philippines chief hails arrival in Manila of some 200,000 Pfizer vaccines from COVAX as "global solidarity in action"
"Multilateralism is our best hope to ensure that vaccines are made available to countries that need them most and that no one is left behind”--Gustavo Gonzalez
MANILA, 11 May 2021--Close to 200,000 Pfizer vaccines from the COVAX Facility arrived at 930PM yesterday at the Terminal 2 of the Manila International Airport aboard a DHL cargo flight from Hong Kong. United Nations (UN) Philippines Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez observed the receipt of the vaccines by Secretary Vince Dizon, National Task Force for COVID-19 deputy chief implementor, along with World Health Organization country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) deputy representative Behzad Noubary, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, among others.
“These Pfizer vaccines, which come just two days after over 2 million Astra Zeneca vaccines arrived in the country last Saturday, are unmistakable proof that multilateralism is our best hope to ensure that vaccines are made available to countries that need them most and that no one is left behind,” said Gonzalez. “I would like to express my gratitude to the COVAX Facility for this demonstration of solidarity with the Filipino people.”
COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as well as the World Bank, civil society organizations, manufacturers, and others.
This Pfizer vaccine shipment brings to about 2.7 million the total number of COVID-19 vaccines that have been received by the Philippines from the COVAX Facility, and is part of the 4.5 million total doses committed to the Philippines from COVAX.
According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the Pfizer vaccines will likely be distributed in Metro Manila and other "major cities" which can handle the product's storage requirements of -70 to 80°C.
Gonzalez acknowledged the work of the WHO and UNICEF as part of COVAX. In addition, Gonzalez said that all UN agencies in the Philippines have been mobilized to pool capacities, technologies and resources in support of a successful vaccination campaign.
The UN Philippines meets regularly with DOH officials to reinforce the UN’s support for the Philippines’ COVID-19 response and for the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.
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For more information, please contact:
UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Office
Teresa L. Debuque, Communication Officer