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While the Philippines has more than five million vaccines to date via the COVAX facility, other Southeast Asian countries, including nations that managed to control the coronavirus last year, are struggling to contain recent outbreaks as their populations are at risk from vaccine shortages.

The problems of vaccine shortages and the slow mechanism of vaccine delivery were for most importantly to some officials on Monday the 7th.

During the dialogue, China promised ASEAN member states (AMS) priority access to fight the pandemic “primarily through the provision of vaccines,” according to a foreign statement Office (EDA).

In addition to improving public health cooperation and strengthening regional and global supply chains for medical supplies and equipment, China and ASEAN agreed to further develop cooperation on vaccines and ensure “equitable access to and accelerating the production and distribution of safe, effective, high quality and affordable vaccines for “promoting all”.

Some ASEAN member countries are turning to China, the global initiative of the World Health Organization whose task it is to ensure an equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to low-income countries such as the Philippines and other ASEAN countries, mainly because of certain problems related to Covax to guarantee .

The COVAX project faces a number of obstacles including missing vaccine shipments, a small number of publicly traded vaccine manufacturers, sovereign legal immunity to vaccine exports, uncertainty about waiving patents, restrictions on vaccine supply, inadequate logistics and Distribution Systems in Low Income Countries Countries and Financial Constraints.

As a result, some countries, including those in the region, have turned to alternative vaccine procurement mechanisms.

In the case of Cambodia, for example, Covax’s vaccine delivery was “slow” as rich countries bought more vaccines than their populations actually needed.

“Cambodia has received more than 300,000 doses of vaccine from Covax, while many Millions of cans have been bought or donated by China. From my point of view, we welcome all mechanisms that react immediately to the real situation in Cambodia, ”said Dr. Kin Phea, director of the Institute of International Relations at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, a newspaper in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia also raised concerns about the “inadequacy” of the COVAX minimum coverage target of 20 percent of the population to achieve global herd immunity, which would require immunization coverage of 60 to 80 percent of the population.

Recently, the Cambodian Department of Health asked the United States to donate four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but the country has not received any given the recent surge in its COVID-19 cases to date.

For this reason, Cambodia shrugged off criticism of its close ties with China. “Who can I rely on if I don’t rely on China? Who should I ask if not China? ”This is what Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said during a virtual conference in Tokyo on the 21st.

In addition to donating to Cambodia, China also donated 300,000 cans to Myanmar and Laos and batches to Brunei and Nepal. China has donated cans to a number of African countries, including Equatorial Guinea, Congo, and Sierra Leone. It has shipped small quantities of vaccines to Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria in the Middle East. China donated more than 600,000 cans to the Philippines after the country ordered 25 million cans, 500,000 cans to Pakistan after the country ordered 1.2 million cans, and 200,000 cans to Zimbabwe after the country ordered 600,000 cans / p> Even President Duterte said on a taped broadcast on April 29, 2021, the country owed China huge debts, including delivering COVID-19 vaccines to the Philippines.

“China is a good friend. Mayroon Tayong Utang on Marami-Loob, Pati Iyon Bakuna Natin. (We are in debt, even with our vaccines.) So China is a good friend and we don’t want trouble with them, especially war, ”he said in his weekly address.

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Ref: https://mb.com.ph