The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Friday said it would provide ¥885 million (P392.32 million) worth of cold chain equipment and logistics to the Philippines to help deploy vaccines and medicines amid a coronavirus pandemic. 

In a statement, JICA said the equipment will complement pandemic-related official development assistance from the agency, including a ¥50-billion emergency support and ¥50-billion post-disaster standby loans. 

The agency earlier provided laboratory equipment for coronavirus testing and treatment to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and San Lazaro Hospital. 

In a related development, four of five vaccinated Filipinos were willing to get a COVID-19 booster shot, according to a poll by the Social Weather Stations (SWS). 

In a report, SWS said 80% of the respondents were willing to get a booster shot while 7% were unwilling. It added that the remaining 13% were uncertain. 

The willingness to get a top-up shot was highest in Balance Luzon at 82%, followed by Metro Manila at 81%, the Visayas at 79% and Mindanao at 78%. 

“On the other hand, those unwilling to get a booster dose hardly vary by area, ranging from 6-7%,” SWS said.  

The Philippines had fully vaccinated 58.43 million people as of Jan. 27, while nearly 60.2 million have received their first dose. More than seven million booster shots have been given out. — Luz Wendy T. Noble and Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza