PH among first to receive vaccine donations from US, says envoy

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 31) — The Philippines will have a share in the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines to be donated by the United States, according to the country's ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

In a Palace briefing on Monday, Romualdez said the US will be distributing an initial 80 million vaccine doses to ally nations and those deemed to be most in need of the shots.

"Tayo, nando'n na sa first batch that will be sent out [We're part of the first batch that will be sent out]," Romualdez said, adding, "But we still don't know how many will be given to us."

He said the donation will come with "no strings attached" and is just part of America's efforts to help other countries fight the coronavirus.

This June, the country expects more vaccines from US companies, including another 2.2 million Pfizer doses and the first shipment from Moderna containing 200,000 doses. In an interview with CNN Philippines earlier this month, Romualdez said the Philippines is aiming to buy up to 80 million doses from various American manufacturers.

Besides reaching out to the US, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. previously said the government has also asked Israel for access to its unused supply of coronavirus shots.