MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte thanked the Japanese government on Thursday for donating more than 1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to the Philippines.
During the ceremonial handover of 1.124 million coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines made by AstraZeneca, Duterte thanked the Japanese government and Prime Minister for assisting the Philippine government in gaining “equitable” access to vaccines.
“These more than one million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine will surely go a long way in our quest for herd immunity,” Duterte said in a speech delivered at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.
According to Duterte, the Philippines and Japan’s collaboration in combating the Covid-19 outbreak demonstrates the two countries’ “deep friendship”.
“Japan continues to be our strong partner in various development programs,” he said. “Again, I express my heartfelt gratitude to Japan for all of the assistance you have extended to our country during these challenging times.”
Duterte also commended Japan for ensuring the “safe and efficient” delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines, as well as for safeguarding the vaccines’ quality and integrity through cold chain transit and ancillaries.
The Philippines will get 1.124 million vials of AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the Japanese government’s efforts to assist Southeast Asian countries affected by the pandemic.
Following the arrival of AstraZeneca vaccines in the country, Duterte reaffirmed his plea for Filipinos to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to prevent the disease from spreading further.
Duterte assured the people that the Covid-19 vaccines that are being provided to the country are “safe and effective.”
“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 said. “I therefore urge everyone to get vaccinated and help prevent the further spread of the virus.”
Duterte also advised fully vaccinated people to maintain following health and safety protocols in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.
He also praised the National Task Force Against Covid-19 and the Department of Health for guaranteeing the “successful” delivery, distribution, and rollout of Covid-19 vaccines throughout the country.
He assured that health officials are cooperating with their foreign counterparts to continue research on the safety and efficacy of Covid-19 vaccinations.
“To my fellow Filipinos, please know that we remain committed to acquiring a sufficient supply of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines for all our countrymen. Together let us beat the pandemic and ensure our way towards a better and brighter tomorrow,” Duterte said.