U.S. shipping 2.58 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses to Philippines

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FILE PHOTO: Mobile vaccination teams begin visiting Los Angeles schools to vaccinate middle and high school students

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. government will begin shipping 2.58 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the Philippines on Thursday through the COVAX global distribution program, a White House official said on Thursday.

The latest shipments of vaccines made by Pfizer Inc and Germany's BioNTech, bring the total number of vaccines sent to the Philippines to just over 9 million, the official said.

Scientific teams and legal and regulatory authorities from both countries worked together to ensure prompt delivery of safe and effective vaccine lots to the Asian nation, the official added.

Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with the foreign and defense ministers of the Philippines during their visit to Washington to mark the 70th anniversary of the two countries' Mutual Defense Treaty.

At the time, Sullivan announced that the United States would provide an additional $11.3 million in COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines, bringing total U.S. COVID-19 assistance to the Philippines since the start of the pandemic to $37 million, in addition to the millions of vaccine doses donated.

(Reporting by Andrea ShalalEditing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio)

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