The World Bank approved a $500 million loan program to support the Philippine government’s purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and to strengthen the country’s health system.
Priority groups, which include frontline health workers, senior citizens, and indigent communities, will be vaccinated first and will be followed by teachers, government workers, indigenous peoples then the remaining population.
The World Bank said in a statement that besides the purchase of vaccine, the additional fund will support the Philippines to continue implement public health measures until a majority of the population has been vaccinated.
“Procuring and administering vaccines provides the country an added layer of defense against COVID-19 on top of public health measures or interventions like social distancing, wearing of masks, and washing hands,” said Ndiamé Diop, World Bank country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand.
In April 2020, the World Bank have financed the Philippines for the purchase of laboratory equipment and test kits, personal protective equipment, and ambulances, as well as medical equipment and supplies such as mechanical ventilators, portable x-ray machines, and infusion pumps.
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