US donates more vaccines to PHL; envoy urges focus on pandemic

INCOMING US AMBASSADOR to Manila MaryKay Carlson

PASAY CITY – Amid global issues, the United States Embassy in Manila said the people should remain focused on addressing the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“I’d like to emphasize that even as the world is worried about global events, and we face serious challenges around the world, the United States remains focused on the pandemic and how we can fight it with partners like the Philippines,” Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava said during the arrival of 769,680 doses of Pfizer vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Variava’s remarks came in the midst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has drawn international condemnation with the US and some countries imposing sanctions against Moscow that might affect the global supply chain.
This as Manila awaits the arrival of new Ambassador MaryKay Carlson who has been nominated to the post by US President Joseph Biden Jr.

This brings the total number of donated Covid-19 vaccines by the American people to over 29 million, she said.

Variava noted that even as parts of the Philippines begin to shift to Alert level 1 starting March 1, and the number of Covid-19 cases is decreasing, the pandemic is still something that should be given focus as people head to the “new normal”.

Also at the arrival of the vaccine doses was Undersecretary Isidro Purisima of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Security.

He said it has been a year since the government started its vaccination program, and also thanked the support of international partners such as the United States and the Covax facility.

Purisima once again urged the public to get inoculated.

“I’m encouraging our people, especially the vulnerable sector, to get vaccinated (against Covid-19). Get their boosters, so we could reopen our economy,” he said.

At least 80 percent of seniors should be inoculated by the local government before their area can be put under Alert Level 1 status.