China is open to discuss additional coronavirus vaccine donations to the Philippines and other developing countries, Beijing’s ambassador to the country said Friday.
“Of course, we will discuss further in the future— not only through bilateral, but also through multilateral channels— we are doing donation to developing countries,” Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said in an exclusive interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source, when asked if another batch of donations is in the offing.
China’s Foreign Ministry earlier announced it will provide 10 million doses to COVAX, a World Health Organization-led initiative that seeks to ensure nations’ equitable access to coronavirus vaccines.
Huang said that as a member of the COVAX channel, the Philippines may also be a beneficiary of these Chinese vaccine donations.
The East Asian giant earlier offered to donate half a million vaccine doses to the Philippines, as announced by state councilor and foreign minister Wang Yi during his visit to the country last month.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said the products would be coming from Sinovac, but Huang noted there is no word yet regarding the brand that will be shipped out.
“We are still consulting your authorities concerned. I think that’s only by then when we have the opinion from your government, we can decide what kind of vaccine will be donated,” Huang said, referring to the required emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
The Philippines is also expected to receive 5.6 million doses of vaccines in the first quarter of 2021 through the COVAX facility. Task Force officials expressed confidence that the country can roll out the inoculation program this February, with four referral hospitals in Metro Manila being eyed to receive the first batch of doses.