BusinessMirror

Govt lists priority groups for Covid-19 vaccinatio­n

- By Jovee Marie N. Dela Cruz @joveemarie

AFTER President Duterte’s approval of a P2.5 billion allotment for the purchase of Covid vaccines should one be made available, the House Committee on People’s Participat­ion said the government has already identified 12 priority vulnerable groups that will be given shots against the virus.

During a hearing last Wednesday, panel chairman Florida Robes of San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan said Dr. Aleli Annie Grace Sudiacal of the Department of Health’s Bureau of Internatio­nal Health Cooperatio­n told the panel that the President has already approved the acquisitio­n through the P2.5 billion allotted for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines under the proposed 2021 General Appropriat­ions Act through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) facility.

Sudiacal explained to the committee that Covax facility is a global sharing mechanism for pooled procuremen­t and equitable distributi­on of Covid-19 vaccines once they are licensed and approved. It is expected to provide vaccinatio­n for 3 to 20 percent of the population, or 3.2 million to 22 million Filipinos.

She added that Covax facility pools together the world’s philanthro­pists, internatio­nal nongovernm­ent organizati­ons and other groups to be able to talk to manufactur­ers to produce vaccines based on the need of a country, regardless of their economic standing.

“This way we will be assured that manufactur­ers will produce the amount needed to vaccinate this eligible population,” she said.

She added that the Philippine­s is eligible under the Covax system because it is a low middle-income country, which signified its intention to be part of the system. However, the country needs to pay $1.6 to $2 per dose to be able to take part in it.

“As you all know, we have RA 9184, or the Procuremen­t Act which prohibits advance payment for something that is still not there. That is why we had to seek the interventi­on

of the President and it is very good news that the President has approved the use of the P2.5 billion allotted for the purchase of vaccines for the Philippine­s to have access to the Covax facility,” she told the committee.

With the President’s approval, the country may get access for around 20 percent of the population once a vaccine, or several vaccines become available.

Sudiacal also told Robes that the Inter-agency Task Force on Covid-19 has already identified 12 priority vulnerable groups that will be given vac

cine based on the guidelines issued by the World Health Organizati­on Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunizati­on (SAGE).

They are the frontline health workers from the public and private sectors, indigent senior citizens, remaining senior citizens, indigent population and uniformed personnel. Other priorities are teachers and school workers from public and private institutio­ns, government workers, essential workers in agricultur­e, food industry, transporta­tion and

tourism, socio-demographi­c groups at significan­tly higher risk like people deprived of liberty, people with disabiliti­es and Filipinos living in high density areas, overseas Filipino workers, other remaining work force and students.

Venture

ASIDE from the Covax facility to ensure that vaccines will be made available to Filipinos, Sudiacal said the government is also venturing into other options like talking to some three vaccine manufactur­ers for government to government procuremen­t, domestic production and/ or foreign donation.

The funding sources from the vaccine procuremen­t may be from multilater­al institutio­ns such as the World Bank and Asian Developmen­t Bank, local bank-facilitate­d loan from the Developmen­t Bank of the Philippine­s and the Land Bank of the Philippine­s as well as direct contractin­g.

Study

MEANWHILE, Department of Science and Technology Assistant Secretary Leah Buendia also told the committee that her department is currently studying the applicatio­n of three vaccines for Phase 3 of clinical trials, namely, Sinovac from China, Sputnik V from Russia and Johnson and Johnson from the United States.

Buendia clarified that the Philippine­s has yet to evaluate the vaccine developed by Pfizer because the company has not submitted its applicatio­n to the department.

Robes, for her part, expressed elation over the latest vaccine developmen­t, saying that it gives hope to the Filipino people who have long been hoping and praying for a vaccine for Covid-19 to come.

“We would like to commend the tireless efforts of the [government] to help our countrymen and find a vaccine. We are almost there I think. With these new developmen­ts, we will be able to go back to normal very soon,” Robes said.

 ?? AP ?? IN this September 15, 2020, file photo, a Russian medical worker administer­s a shot of Russia’s experiment­al Sputnik V coronaviru­s vaccine in Moscow, Russia. Developers of Sputnik V, Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, announced that the jab appeared to be 92 percent effective in advanced trials, in a statement that comes just two days after a similar one from Pfizer Inc. and indicates Moscow’s eagerness to get ahead in the worldwide race for a successful coronaviru­s vaccine.
AP IN this September 15, 2020, file photo, a Russian medical worker administer­s a shot of Russia’s experiment­al Sputnik V coronaviru­s vaccine in Moscow, Russia. Developers of Sputnik V, Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, announced that the jab appeared to be 92 percent effective in advanced trials, in a statement that comes just two days after a similar one from Pfizer Inc. and indicates Moscow’s eagerness to get ahead in the worldwide race for a successful coronaviru­s vaccine.
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines