Press Release
April 20, 2021

De Lima lauds Fil-Am groups' efforts to seek Biden's help for Moderna vaccines

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has commended Filipino-American healthcare groups for their collective effort to help speed-up the 20 million Moderna vaccines purchased by the Philippine government and the private sector from the American drug company as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the country.

De Lima, a known human rights defender here and abroad, said the move by the Filipino American groups including the US Medicare in the Philippines and the Philippine Medical Association of Metro Washington DC to seek for US President Joe Biden's help for Moderna jabs is laudable.

"The members of these groups may be miles away from us, but they showed that distance can never prevent them from going the extra mile to show concern and love for their countrymen and ensure that their fellow Filipinos' lives will be protected," she said.

"Amid the critical situation that we have in the country as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, we really need the help from the US government to ensure the early release of Moderna jabs in the Philippines," she added.

Recently, Virginia-based nonprofit US Medicare in the Philippines and partners Philippine Humanitarian Coalition, the Philippine Medical Association of Metro Washington DC, the National Federation of Filipino American Association and the Philippine Nurses Association of America reportedly wrote a letter seeking for Biden's administration's help to bump up the delivery date of the doses of Moderna.

"(W)e appeal to you to authorize the early humanitarian release of the 20 million Moderna vaccines -- Please consider an initial export release of 5 to 10 million vaccines this April--rather than in June or July. Your early decision will save thousands of lives in the Philippines," read part of the letter.

The lady Senator from Bicol likewise lamented why Mr. Duterte does not bother to touch base with his United States counterpart on the matter of vaccines.

"It he can do it with the Chinese or Russian Presidents, why not the US President, the US being a friend and the Filipinos' most trusted major ally? All it takes is a small ounce of humility and sincerity in seeking succor from the US and other western countries, to augment the still very deficient supply of vaccine coming our way," she said.

"Sa panahong ito ng krisis na kailangan ng kababayan natin ng agarang bakuna laban sa nakamamatay na sakit, sana ay unang isipin ni Duterte ang kapakanan ng mga Pilipino at hindi ang anumang personal niyang hinanakit sa US," she added.

The Philippines logged 9,628 additional COVID-19 infections, pushing the country's tally to 945,745 cases as of April 19.

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