Government secures $250 million loan from ADB for COVID-19 vaccines

December 13, 2021 - 6:14 PM
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COVID-19 vaccination
Health workers get booster shots of COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine as the government begins to provide them to front-liners, at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, November 17, 2021. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

MANILA — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $250 million loan for the Philippines to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, it said in a statement on Monday.

The ADB said the loan would allow the government to purchase 40 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses for eligible children and booster shots for adults.

The country is aiming to fully vaccinate at least 54 million people, or nearly half of its 110 million population, before the year ends.

To reach that target, it plans to hold a second three-day mass vaccination campaign from Dec. 15. It has so far fully immunized 39.2 million as of Dec. 7.

New daily cases in the country have stayed below 1,000 since Nov. 24, a sharp decline from the more than 20,000 peak in late September that strained the fragile health system in the Southeast Asian archipelago.

The country’s improving COVID-19 situation has allowed it to gradually reopen the economy and tentatively resume in-person classes. — Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Ed Davies