17 February 2021 – The British Embassy Manila has launched the UK-Philippines Vaccine Clinic in partnership with the University of the Philippines – College of Public Health. The knowledge-exchange runs until March 2021 and pools technical resources between the UK and the Philippines to share learning on safely delivering a COVID-19 vaccine.
During the inaugural session on 10 February, Ambassador Daniel Pruce said:
Echoing the Philippine government’s ‘one of society’ approach in tacking COVID-19, this learning series hopes to demonstrate the Filipino value of ‘walang iwanan’. Nobody is left behind. It is only by working together that we can end this global pandemic. And the UK, through the British Embassy in Manila, remains committed to supporting Filipinos access to vaccines, developed under transparent mechanisms and delivered safely and effectively.
Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Chief of the National Task Force (NTF), commented in response:
The Philippines is one of 18 countries to receive the first batch of vaccine donations from COVAX. We thank the British government for its support in our vaccination programme, helping vaccinate 8 to 9 million Filipinos in the first half of 2021.
League of Cities Vaccine Procurement Committee Chair and Iloilo City Mayor Trenas encouraged local governments to participate in the learning exchange:
These webinars will be of great help for local governments to inform strategies in administering vaccines through local health systems.” lloilo City is also the pilot local government partner of the UK’s Better Health Programme (BHP) in the Philippines.
The UK has allocated £548m to the UN-led COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which is working to distribute 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines to 92 developing countries this year.
In a recent announcement by the Global Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), the Philippines was designated amongst the first countries that could receive an indicative distribution of up to 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines; mostly of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine developed in the United Kingdom through the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility. The Facility expects doses will start being available for delivery from Q1 of 2021.
Supported by the UK’s Prosperity Fund, the series will convene technical, scientific, and policy experts from the UK Vaccine Task Force, the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies, Health Education England and the National Health Service in sessions covering: deployment and procurement strategies; community-based vaccine delivery and administration; and tackling vaccine hesitancy.