Australia supports PH vaccination program

READY TO ASSIST. Australian ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson (center) poses with vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (right), Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (left) and testing czar Vince Dizon (left-2nd row) after last week’s meeting. The Australian embassy said it is ready to assist the Philippines’ Covid-19 vaccination program. (Photo courtesy of Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson)

The Australian Embassy in Manila has made known its readiness to assist the Philippine government in its Covid-19 inoculation program.

Australian envoy to the Philippines, Ambassador Steven Robinson made the commitment at the recent meeting among vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, and testing czar Secretary Vince Dizon.

In a recent statement, the Australian Embassy said it “will will do all we can to assist,” adding that Australia has “redirected” its 2020 development assistance programs to reinforce the Philippine pandemic response.

Its recent 21 million Australian dollar (approximately PHP780 million) contribution to the Asean Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases is also expected to directly assist Manila combat Covid-19 through capacity-building efforts.

“This will include support to the Philippines for assistance with vaccines over the next two years, including logistics, public health support, and information, and we currently work with the Philippine Government on these details,” the embassy said.

Last year, Canberra donated P35-million worth of medical supplies to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to support the military’s Covid-19 response.

The donation included hospital and personal protective equipment, and support for the 30-bed expansion of the V. Luna Medical Center-AFP Medical Center infectious disease ward.