With billions in loans, Lacson asks: ‘Nasaan ka bakuna?’

MANILA, Philippines — Nasaan ka bakuna? (Where are the vaccines?)

This was the question posed by Senator Panfilo Lacson as he cited the P126.75-billion government funding for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines, a bulk of which is from approved loans sourced from multilateral lenders.

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In a tweet, Lacson enumerated the supposed approved loans from the World Bank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) from April last year to March 2021 to finance the country’s purchase of vaccines.

Lacson also noted that the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act provides for P10-billion funding under the Department of Health (DOH) for the same purpose.

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The total budget of the Philippine government for vaccine procurement, according to Lacson, so far amounts to P126.75 billion.

“NASAAN KA BAKUNA?” he said in his tweet.

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For its initial vaccination rollout, the Philippines is currently using donated vaccines from the Chinese government and the COVAX facility, a global vaccine sharing pool led by the World Health Organization.

The country kicked off its vaccination drive on Mar. 1 following the arrival of 600,000 doses of the CoronaVac vaccine from Sinovac Biotech which were donated by the Chinese government

On March 4, 487,200 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from British-Swede firm AstraZeneca arrived in the country through the COVAX facility. This was followed by another set of 38,400 doses that arrived on March 7.

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/MUF

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