As a key ally, United States Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer urges President Joe Biden to set aside at least five million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the Philippines, in its commitment to donate excess vaccines to other countries.
“As a key ally in this region, it is imperative that the United States support the Philippines by committing at least five million doses of vaccines to the nation,” Schumer says.
“I urge you to commit at least five million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Republic of the Philippines as part of the United States’ commitment to send 80 million of such doses to foreign nations over the next several months,” says Senator Schumer, a Democrat from New York, in a letter to Biden on 01 June.
Schumer fully supports Biden’s decision to assist other nations with the millions of doses of AstraZeneca vaccine stockpiled by the US government.
WASHINGTON — To combat the rising COVID-19 cases in the Philippines, Senator Schumer says the country needs assistance in securing more vaccines to protect its population.
The United States has a long history with the Philippines and with Filipino-Americans contributing immeasurable acts to New York and to the American society through “selfless and professional efforts” as front line health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic, says the senator.
He notes the Philippines has suffered a great loss during the recent surge in the pandemic with 1.2 million infected, including a rising number of deaths.
The delay in the shipment of 17.7 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses from Siam Bioessence is “putting the country’s vaccination efforts in dire straits.”
The Biden administration announced on 31 May that the US would release 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to support the global vaccination program, the key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not authorized for use in the U.S., the AstraZeneca jabs will be sent to other nations such as the Philippines that have approved its use. “Sending these vaccines abroad would not diminish our ability to vaccinate our population at home as the United States has more than enough FDA-authorized vaccines on hand made by other manufacturers,” he says.
Filipino health care workers have long been on the frontlines of US hospitals and emergency rooms.
“Indeed, throughout the pandemic, Filipino-American nurses and doctors put themselves in harm’s way to save lives,” Schumer said. “Nearly a third of the nurses who’ve died of coronavirus in the US are Filipino, even though Filipino nurses make up just four percent of the nursing population nationwide,” he points out.
“The US can honor the service and sacrifice of these heroes by providing the urgently needed five million life-saving doses as quickly as possible.” (SA/Headline PH)