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Supporting the private sector in importing COVID-19 vaccines will hasten rollout, says Bong Go as he calls for unified efforts to boost public confidence in vaccines

April 07, 2021 - Wednesday 12:04 PM by MDM

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Senator Christopher “Bong” Go asserted that the recent decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to support the private sector’s efforts to import vaccines ‘at will’ for their employees and dependents will significantly hasten rollout across the country. 

He also highlighted the need for a unified effort to boost public confidence among Filipinos to allay fears on getting vaccinated.

“Isa ako sa pangunahing nagmungkahi kay Pangulo at kay Secretary (Carlito) Galvez para mapabilis po ang vaccine rollout dahil ang laban kontra COVID-19 ay laban ng sambayanang Pilipino. Karamihan sa private sector ay may sariling direct contact po sa vaccine provider sa ibang bansa,” explained Go during an interview last Monday, April 5. 

“Sana po makatulong ito, mas mapabilis ang vaccine rollout... Kung makakatulong po sila, it will unburden government (procurement), makakatulong ito sa gobyerno na mababawasan ang pinapasan nating lahat,” he added.

The Senator reminded the private sector, however, to comply with the requirement of entering into tripartite agreements with the national government and the vaccine manufacturers when importing their vaccines.

“Ang gobyerno po ang magbabayad kung may adverse effect po ang bakuna na ito. Ang gobyerno po ang guarantor. Sumunod lang tayo sa patakaran. Hayaan natin ang private sector na tumulong,” he added.

Reiterating the integral role of the vaccines in the country’s recovery from the pandemic, Go noted signs of improving vaccine confidence among Filipinos who were initially hesitant about getting vaccinated.

“Dati po, sa kakaikot ko po, una maraming takot, maraming ayaw. Halos ‘di nagtataas ng kamay. Pero nung nakita nila na marami na po willing magpabakuna, ngayon po marami nang willing,” he said.

“Ang bakuna ang tanging solusyon. Tayo po ay pangatlo na sa Southeast Asia sa pinakamaraming nabakunahan. Limitado po ang supply, so binabalanse po ang lahat. Asahan n’yo po na ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat sa abot ng kanilang makakaya,” he added.

In a positive development on the country’s national vaccination program, American firm Johnson & Johnson (Janssen Pharmaceutica) has filed an emergency use authorization application for its coronavirus jab in the Philippines as announced by the Department of Health on Monday, April 5. 

Unlike most COVID-19 jabs, the J&J vaccine is administered via a single dose and does not require ultra-low temperature storage, allowing for lesser logistical requirements when distributing the vaccines across the country, according to the DOH. 

Go, then, highlighted the urgent need for the seamless implementation of the vaccine rollout so the country can immediately attain herd immunity which is its only ticket out of the pandemic.

“Importante po tuluy-tuloy ang rollout. Sana ma-achieve ang target natin at ma-attain natin ang herd immunity sa community,” he said.

“Makakatulong sa pag-control ng pagkalat ng sakit na ito kapag nabakunahan na ang majority sa inyong komunidad,” concluded Go.

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