President Rodrigo Roa Duterte asked the United States Monday for more COVID-19 vaccines if an excess supply is available, as the Philippines battles the coronavirus particularly with the presence of a more infectious mutated variant.
“I am just asking America to give us more kung mayroon lang sila. We are not — I know that mauna kami — or kami muna, we first before you,” President Duterte said during his weekly public address on government response to the pandemic.
“We understand it and we accept it. But if there is an excess of supply sa inyo, pakitulong naman dito sa bayan ko. We have the money, we buy, we do not ask. We have saved money for this event.”
Early this month, the US government donated more than 3 million doses of Moderna vaccine through the World Health Organization-led COVAX vaccine-sharing program.
In July, the US sent 3,240,850 doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine to the Philippines. This was part of the Biden administration’s commitment to distribute 80 million vaccines for free around the world.
Meanwhile, President Duterte made renewed appeal to the Filipino public to get inoculated, stressing the coronavirus is here to stay and it will change people’s lives.
“Sabihin ko sa mga Pilipino, ‘pag — the first opportunity, magpabakuna kayo. It might save your life, baka hindi mo pa panahon. Ang panahon — ang buhay, panahon-panahon mamatay. Pero kung may bakuna ka, baka, baka abutin ka pa sa katandaan,” he said.
“Iyan ang mensahe ko sa inyo, ‘yung sabi ni doktor figures ‘yan. But the problem, the basic problem, the fundamental fear is that it is here to stay and it has changed our lives from hereon.”
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said the government has so far administered a total of 27,806,881 doses, with 15,241,864 individuals getting the first dose while 12,565,017 individuals receiving the full dose.
This represents 17.73 percent of the eligible population and 11.4 percent of the total population.
Galvez also reported that the Philippines has breached the 40-million mark after receiving total deliveries of 42,575,350 vaccine doses.
“Magkakaroon po tayo ng more or less mga 50 million pagka natapos po ang buwan ng Agosto,” he told the President. PND