Galvez: Vaccine indemnity fund law to aid PH bid to get ample vaccine supply
MANILA, Philippines — Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Friday stressed the significance of passing a bill that would provide a vaccine indemnification fund to compensate recipients who may suffer from side effects of Covid-19 shots.
According to Galvez, such a measure will help the Philippines in its quest for enough doses of Covid-19 vaccines because it will give confidence to drug manufacturers supplying the government with the jabs.
The country needs at least 140 million doses of the new coronavirus vaccines in order to inoculate 70 million Filipinos this year and achieve herd immunity.
He also noted that President Rodrigo Duterte’s urgent certification of the bill for a vaccine indemnification fund would be a big boost.
“Kaya nagkaroon po tayo ng immediate convening ng [House of Representatives] and Senate kasi po mas maganda po merong indemnity package so that the manufacturer is confident na merong indemnity law ang isang bansa bago sila pumasok,” Galvez said in an interview over ABS-CBN News Channel.
(This is why we had an immediate convening with the House of Representatives and Senate because the indemnity package would give the manufacturer confidence before they enter a country.)
“At the same time, [Health] Secretary [Francisco] Duque and I will make a communication to the President to make this urgent, the Senate bill and the Congress bill urgent, considering this is needed so it will open up our COVAX doses,” he added.
There will be a one week delay on the arrival of vaccines coming from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, but Galvez said they are ironing out the indemnity agreement for the supply in order to assure that the Philippine government will assume responsibility should vaccine recipients experience adverse side effects.
“It will not wait ‘yung ating indemnification law basta mapirmahan po namin, mag-agree po ang COVAX facility at saka ‘yung ating mga lawyers na we will, we can sign the COVAX agreement on indemnification clause, pwede na po, ‘yun po ang pinaka-final na inaayos namin,” he said.
(It will not wait for our indemnification law as long the COVAX facility and our lawyers sign the agreement on the indemnification clause. That’s the final thing we’re arranging.)
Senator Nancy Binay has already filed a bill seeking to establish a vaccine indemnification fund.
In a Senate hearing on Thursday, Galvez said a memorandum for the President’s urgent certification on the passage of the bill is already underway.
“[This is] very significant for all of us considering that it will greatly help the executive to really function together with LGUs as soon as possible,” the vaccine czar said.
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