The U.S. Peace Corps recently partnered with local health officials and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) ReachHealth project to vaccinate more than 10,600 Filipinos at mass vaccination clinics in Quezon City and Caloocan City.
Amid the Omicron surge in January and February, doctors and nurses from the U.S. Peace Corps helped fill critical healthcare worker shortages and meet vaccine demand by volunteering two days a week during this two-month period. This was the first phase of a larger, nationwide effort to help protect the Filipino people against COVID-19 by increasing the vaccination rate, now at 71 percent (with two doses).
In February, the U.S. Peace Corps’ medical team was able to screen and vaccinate adolescents at mass vaccine clinics for those aged 12-17. In total, more than 2,700 patients aged 5-17 were given the vaccine. Together with the Department of Health and USAID, the U.S. Peace Corps will continue to provide medical professionals and other support staff to conduct pediatric vaccine clinics for children aged 5-11 in the National Capital Region, other parts of Luzon, and the Visayas.
“The U.S. Peace Corps is pleased to team up with the Philippine government and USAID to support this critical, nationwide effort to protect the Filipino people and get children safely back to school in person,” said U.S. Peace Corps Country Director Jenner Edelman in her recent visit to a mass vaccine clinic in Quezon City.
In the absence of American volunteers due to the ongoing pandemic, the U.S. Peace Corps is devoting all available resources, including its medical professionals who would otherwise be caring for American volunteers, to supporting Philippine and U.S. government partners in overcoming COVID-19 in the Philippines.
USAID’s health and humanitarian assistance supports the Philippine government in implementing internationally recognized prevention, control, and response strategies to protect Filipinos—including the most vulnerable—against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
To date, USAID has provided $34.5 million in aid to improve the national and local responses through risk communication, laboratory strengthening, contact tracing, isolation, critical care management, logistics management, training, and acceleration of vaccine coverage.
The U.S. Peace Corps is the U.S. government’s premier volunteer organization and has supported Filipino communities across the country for more than 60 years. Over 9,300 American volunteers have served as co-teachers, youth development facilitators, environmental experts, or filled other roles requested by host communities over the decades.