President Rodrigo Duterte strongly pushed fellow leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to come up with a system of internationally-recognized “non-discriminatory” digital vaccination cards as a way to shore up global travel.
After news that some countries do not recognize Chinese and Russian vaccines as enough to enter their country, Duterte added that the cooperation “consider arrangements on the use of internationally recognized digital vaccination certificates that are scientific, verifiable and non-discriminatory.”
He noted that economic recovery was dependent on “resilient global value chains and free movement of goods and peoples.”
APEC chiefs recently attended an informal retreat, hosted by New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, where they agreed to boost vaccine sharing with developing countries.
The 21-member body includes the United States, China, Japan and Russia.
During the session, President Xi Jinping promised to share $3 billion worth of doses to poorer nations over the next three years. This was also broadcasted through Xinhua News Agency, their official platform.
Despite having fallen short of the aim to deliver 80 million doses to other countries by the end of June, US leader Joe Biden renewed his commitment to send more than 500 million doses all over the world.
The US has delivered more than 53 million doses to over 30 countries and territories, and plans to ship a minimum of 30 million more as soon as regulatory and logistical kinks have been ironed out by recipient nations.
To date, they have sent: 4.5 million to Indonesia, 2 million to Vietnam and 1 million to Malaysia. Over 3 million will be sent to the Philippines, and the Biden administration is eyeing donations as well to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea.
The White House reiterated that its “singular goal remains saving lives.”
Leaders also agreed to take action on costly tariffs which hamper the movement of vaccines across borders, including materials such as vials, syringes and packaging.