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Philippines gets 400-million-dollar loan to buy COVID-19 vaccines

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Philippines gets 400-million-dollar loan to buy COVID-19 vaccines
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), on Friday announced it would lend 400 million dollars to the Philippines to enable them buy Coronavirus vaccines.

The Manila-based bank said the financing would help the Philippine Government’s efforts to secure more vaccines – especially for the vulnerable population, such as front line workers, elderly and the poor.

“COVID-19 vaccines are critical to accelerating the recovery of the Philippine economy, rebuilding livelihoods, and restoring quality jobs,” said ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa.

“With this financing, ADB seeks to help the country save lives and allow Filipinos to return to normal life as soon as possible,’’ he added.

The loan was the first to be disbursed from the ADB’s Asia-Pacific Vaccine Access Facility, the bank noted.

The facility was a 9billion dollar vaccine initiative that offers “rapid and equitable support to its developing members as they procure and deliver effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines,’’ the ADB said.

The Philippines has so far received 600,000 doses of the vaccine made by China’s Sinovac, and 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca through the World Health Organisation’s Covax facility.

The government began its vaccination drive on March 1, and so far some 114,000 people have been vaccinated out of the country’s total estimated population of 110 million.

The Philippines’ COVID-19 caseload totaled 607,048 as of Thursday, with the Department of Health reporting 3,749 additional Coronavirus infections. The death toll was up 63 to 12,608, it added.

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