The Qatari government announced today that it helped the Philippines purchase doses of a Chinese vaccine against COVID-19.
The Qatar Fund for Development provided the Filipino government $450,000 to purchase 50,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine. The initiative is part of Qatar’s plan to provide “wider access” to vaccines against COVID-19 around the world, the Qatari Embassy in Manila said in a tweet.
Around 77% of the Qatari population is vaccinated against COVID-19. In the Philippines, the figure is around 50%, according to the Oxford-based Our World in Data.
This is not the first time the state of Qatar has provided vaccines to foreigners. Last August, Qatar gave vaccine doses to Afghans who fled the country following the US military withdrawal.
Sinovac is a privately owned Chinese company. Its COVID-19 vaccine utilizes traditional vaccine technology by injecting people with a dead or inactive virus to elicit an immune response from the body. Some heath experts consider the vaccine, along with China’s Sinopharm, less effective in fighting COVID-19 than some of its competitors.