THE United States (US) Government will give an additional $5 million or around P286 million to the Philippines to fund efforts for the acceleration of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination rollout in the country.

This was announced by US Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, husband of US Vice President Kamala Harris, during his visit at Gregoria de Jesus Elementary School in Caloocan City.

He said the financial assistance, which will be coursed through the US Agency for International Development under the American Rescue Plan, will help “support vaccine distribution for children and adults in line with the Philippine government’s Covid-19 vaccination efforts to intensify and strengthen the country’s wall of immunity.”

Emhoff also handed over donated boxes of Covid-19 supplies composed of a hygiene kit, N95 face masks, finger oximeter and forehead thermometer to promote the safe resumption of face-to-face classes.

The US also donated a tablet for the school.

“I know the last couple years have been very hard. It had been very hard for schools. It had been very hard for teachers, and children and communities. I know schools have been virtual for over two years as the Philippines has fought so hard against this pandemic,” Emhoff said.

“It is so good to see children back here in schools and in the classrooms. I love it!” he added.

Emhoff urged Filipinos to take their shots to prevent catching the virus and to further push the wall of immunity.

“We have been working hard to continue getting everyone, not only in the United States, but everyone around the world, vaccinated. I spent the first year plus traveling all around the country encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, and I take that same encouragement here in the Philippines because we need to keep fighting, we need to keep pushing forward on this vaccination,” he said.

The Philippines earlier received over P50 million Covid-19 response assistance from the US on top of the 33 million Covid-19 vaccine doses they donated during the height of the pandemic.

Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire expressed gratitude to the US government for its support to the country, especially the in-person classes. (SunStar Philippines)