The Government of Japan has pledged anew a total of 1.96 million additional doses of Japan-manufactured AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines. This announcement was made by Japanese Foreign Minister MOTEGI Toshimitsu in his latest press briefing today, October 15, 2021. The delivery of this second vaccine provision from Japan is expected to be dispatched to Manila in some batches within this month.

On the back of Japan’s comprehensive cooperation with the Philippines to beat COVID-19, this fresh initiative comes shortly after Japan fulfilled its first provision of 1.12 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses to the country last July. Also outside of the COVAX facility, this latest provision makes Japan’s total bilateral contribution to the country’s vaccine stockpile reach more than three million doses, as of date. First announced on June 15, 2021, Japan’s intention to supply these much-needed vaccines was swiftly formalized with the signing and exchange of notes between then Chargé d'affaires ad interim NAKATA Masahiro of the Embassy of Japan and Assistant Secretary Nathaniel Garcia Imperial of the Department of Foreign Affairs last June 29.

Throughout the pandemic, Japan consistently finds ways to expand its contribution to the Philippines’ COVID-19 response measures in order to ease the plight of Filipino citizens and frontliners. Its contribution includes the Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (CRESL); Post-Disaster Standby Loan Phase 2 (PDSL 2), joint clinical research for the anti-flu drug Avigan; and grants for the procurement of medical equipment, establishment of laboratory surveillance sites, and development of cold chain system in support of the vaccination program.