Philippines gets $US25m COVID-vaccine aid

·1-min read

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced $US25 million ($A33m) in aid to help the Philippines purchase vaccines to tackle COVID-19.

Financing will come from a $US125m ($A163m) loan program approved in August 2020 and aims to support the Philippine government's efforts to handle the virus, the Manila-based bank said.

"Vaccination is the next critical step to protect lives and promote livelihood opportunities," ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa said in a statement.

"We stand ready to support the government in these unprecedented times and help the economy navigate back to its pre-pandemic growth path," he added.

The loan came as the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the Philippines will be getting a total of 44 million doses of COVID vaccines from COVAX, a global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to vaccines for all countries.

Up to 9.2 million doses were expected to be delivered to the Philippines in the first half of the year, WHO country representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe said.

"We are optimistic that the remainder of the 44 million doses will also come later on in the year," he said.