US begins shipping 3.2 million COVID snapshots to the Philippines – Maison Blanche

Johnson & Johnson vaccine
A vial and syringe can be seen in front of a Johnson & Johnson logo displayed in this illustration taken on January 11, 2021. (Reuters / Dado Ruvic, illustration)

WASHINGTON – The United States has started shipping 3.2 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines, the White House said Thursday, as Washington continues its coronavirus diplomacy by sharing doses with the developing countries.

“We start shipping over 3.2 million doses of J&J to the Philippines today,” White House spokesman Kevin Munoz said on Twitter.

The Philippines has so far administered at least 13,442,299 doses, enough for just 6.2% of its population on a two-dose regimen, according to Reuters data. It has recorded 1,485,457 infections and 26,232 deaths linked to the coronavirus since the pandemic has started.

J & J’s single-dose vaccine does not need to be refrigerated like others do, potentially making it easier to distribute. A survey conducted earlier this month showed that the number of Filipinos willing to be vaccinated has also increased in recent months as safety concerns have receded.

Much of Asia is grappling with spikes in COVID-19 cases amid new variants and vaccine supply constraints, and the World Bank on Thursday slashed its economic growth forecast for the Asia region from East and Pacific, excluding China.

Philippine economic officials have said the impact of the pandemic will be transient and the economy is poised to rebound.

The country is still grappling with other measures to fight infections, having recently moved to allow children to go outside while also banning travelers from Indonesia, where a new variant is emerging. is installed.

The vaccines donated by the United States are part of the Biden administration’s support for COVAX, the global vaccine-sharing program with the World Health Organization to help distribute vaccines to poorer countries.

Haiti, Moldova, Costa Rica and other countries have also received doses from the United States in recent days.

—Report by Susan Heavey; Editing by Nick Macfie

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