The Philippines will donate $1 million to the Covax facility, President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday.

Covax is a global initiative coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is a platform that supports the research, development and manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccine candidates. Covax seeks to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved.

“Covax is soliciting contributions from countries who can help. [It’s] probably running low on funds also…and they have asked the Philippines formally for a donation. Ako, that is $1 million, that’s about P50 million,” Duterte said in a televised address.

“As a beneficiary of the generosity of Covax and their desire also to help people, we will answer their pleadings of donation,” he added.

Covax has provided the Philippines with almost 2.8 million Covid-19 vaccine doses: 2,556,000 doses of AstraZeneca and 193,050 of Pfizer vaccines.

“We were recipients of Covax vaccines many times and it has helped a lot in our desire to vaccinate Filipinos. Ngayon sila naman ang nagkulang ng pera, maybe because they are helping other nations all over the world,” Duterte said.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. said that Covax would provide the Philippines 4.4 million doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines this June. John Ezekiel J. Hirro