December 23, 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines secured Wednesday fresh loan from the World Bank amounting to $300 million to help the country procure additional vaccines and booster shots against COVID-19.
According to the World Bank, its Board of Executive Directors approved the loan of the Philippines which is intended to cover the procurement and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines for minors aged 12-17.
The World Bank added that the loan also aims to fund the procurement of additional doses for at-risk population sub-groups, including immunocompromised individuals and senior citizens, who were not fully protected with the initial two-dose or a single dose of COVID-19 vaccines.
Vaccines for children under 12, as part of the move to reopen schools, will also be procured using the loan as well as booster doses for health workers and the wider population, the World Bank said.
“Fair, broad, and fast access to effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines is vital to save lives and strengthen economic recovery,” said Ndiamé Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.
“This funding operation is critical for the country to safely reopen the economy and resume economic and social development activities, including face-to-face learning, that were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Diop added.
Overall, the World Bank said the loan is expected to provide approximately 27 million vaccine doses, subject to regulatory approvals and data on safety.
“Global vaccine supply market remains supplier-driven with many uncertainties for low- and middle-income countries. Hence, negotiating supply agreements with suppliers ahead of the country’s planned vaccination scale up in 2022 is a step in the right direction,” Diop said.
In April 2020, the World Bank approved a $100 million loan for the Philippines and then another $500 million loan in March this year to support the country’s pandemic response.