Poland to donate Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines

Jakub Kaczmarczyk /PAP

The Polish government will hand over 500,000 coronavirus vaccines to the Philippines free of charge, a deputy foreign minister has said.

Pawel Jablonski announced the decision at a press conference outside the Filipino embassy in Warsaw on Friday.

"A delivery, a donation of half a million doses of the vaccine is setting off for the Philippines," Jablonski said, referring to a plane that was due to take off from Warsaw later on Friday.

"The Philippines are in a difficult situation when it comes to access to vaccines, we were asked for support through various diplomatic channels and Poland is responding to this request," Jablonski added.

The Filipino ambassador to Poland, Leah Basinang Ruiz, said that the donation was "a historic moment" in relations between Poland and the Philippines as it was an expression of "solidarity, friendship and cooperation."

Ruiz said her country aims to vaccinate at least 70 percent of its population by the end of the year.

Poland has already donated coronavirus vaccines to a number of countries, both in Europe and on other continents.