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Countries Like the Philippines are Unable to Utilize IP Flexibilities to Fight COVID-19

The Philippines has so far relied on donations and direct purchase to obtain vaccines to address the pandemic. As of March 2021, the Philippines received 2 million Sinovac doses from China and about half a million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility. However, these doses could only vaccinate 1% of the country’s more than 110 million people. Concerns regarding access to COVID-19 vaccines are also looming in other developing and least developed countries. It is reported that due to a supposed vaccine hoarding by wealthy countries, low-income countries have minute chances of getting their populations vaccinated against COVID-19 in the coming year. On the contrary, wealthier nations have already been able to secure nearly three times the doses needed to vaccinate their entire populations. As the United Nations Secretary General lamented back in February, progress in COVID-19 vaccinations has been “wildly uneven and unfair.”

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