U.S. and Philippine government officials welcome the arrival of 193,050 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines on May 10.

The United States welcomes the successful May 10 arrival to the Philippines of 193,050 doses of the U.S. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, one of the safest and most effective vaccines in the world.

This delivery is the first tranche of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines and follows the arrival of 2,030,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on May 8, bringing total COVAX deliveries to the Philippines to 2,673,000 doses. The U.S. is by far the largest contributor to the COVAX effort, funding one in five vaccinations in the Philippines provided by the facility.

U.S. Embassy Economic Counselor Chip Gamble joined Secretary of Science and Technology Fortunato de la Peña, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, and National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon from the Philippine government, and other stakeholders at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to welcome the first arrival of Pfizer-BioNTech on Monday night.

“As the largest contributor to COVAX, the United States welcomes the arrival of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine here in the Philippines.

I am proud that this extraordinarily safe and effective vaccine, developed through U.S. scientific ingenuity, will protect Filipinos. As we fight the pandemic together, the United States will continue to support the Philippines’ vaccination and COVID-19 mitigation efforts,” said U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law.

This is the fourth shipment of vaccines made available through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, a global initiative to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. The United States already has donated Php97.2 billion ($2 billion) to COVAX, to ensure the Philippines and other countries receive COVID-19 vaccines and committed to providing an additional $2 billion.

With this delivery, the Philippines has now received more than 2.5 million vaccines through COVAX. In total, COVAX will provide 44 million doses to Filipinos. Upcoming COVAX deliveries from Pfizer will total over 2.3 million.

Developed jointly by American pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc. and German biotechnology company BioNTech SE, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was the first to receive emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization and is 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 illness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In February, the U.S. government announced a total planned contribution of Php194.4 billion ($4 billion) to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment. The United States already has provided an initial Php97.2 billion ($2 billion), and the Philippines is among the first countries in the region to have received COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility. 

The United States has worked closely with Philippine stakeholders throughout the pandemic to protect public health and strengthen the local response to COVID-19. To date, total U.S. government COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines amounts to nearly Php1.3 billion ($27 million).