Japan to Donate 1M AstraZeneca Vaccine Doses to Philippines

TOKYO – The Japanese government will donate one million COVID-19 vaccine shots to the Philippines beginning next week, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi announced Friday.

The Southeast Asian nation is one of the four ASEAN countries – Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia also included – that will be provided by Japan with the novel coronavirus vaccine doses developed by Britain’s AstraZeneca.

“As soon as various conditions are cleared including negotiations with the host countries, from the first of July and onwards, we will be providing one million doses each to Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia,” Motegi told a press conference.

“We are making the final coordination with the aim to as quickly as possible provide the AstraZeneca vaccine doses,” he added.

Japan will also give one million shots each to Taiwan and Vietnam, in addition to the 1.24 million and one million doses offered to them, respectively, earlier this month, according to Motegi.

Moreover, Japan will provide 11 million doses of the said vaccine to countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Pacific islands through COVAX.

“As soon as the conditions are met including the approval by the WHO, we will coordinate with the relevant institutions in the middle of July onwards,” the foreign minister said.

Japan’s health ministry approved the use of AstraZeneca vaccine last month, but it is yet to be used domestically due to a possible link to blood clots reported abroad. - Florenda Corpuz

(Photo courtesy of AstraZeneca, University of Oxford)