President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that the Philippines was having a hard time obtaining COVID-19 vaccines made in western countries, after rich nations bought the bulk of them.
“There is no vaccine available— [whether] you beg, steal or pay for it,” Duterte said in a televised Monday night, noting that the Philippines wasn’t alone in its plight.
“They’re having a hard time too. America has supplies but they’re scrambling for them,” he added.
The Chief Executive earlier said the country would have to wait for the vaccines after 10 rich countries cornered 75 percent of the world’s supply of coronavirus vaccines.
He said he was thankful to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez who managed to secure an initial suppl of vaccines from China.
He also expressed appreciation to China for augmenting the country’s supply with a donation of 600,000 doses of vaccines developed by Sinovac.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) representative to the Philippines said the delay in the delivery of 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines was due to logistics, contrary to the claims of government officials who said there were supply issues.
In an interview on CNN Philippines, WHO representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra
Abeyasinghe said logistics handlers were having problems ensuring large shipments of vaccines across the world, given the cold chain requirements.
The vaccines, done through the WHO’s COVAX Facility, were supposed to arrive Monday, but Health officials here said supply problems were the cause.
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