Galvez asks for patience amid delayed arrival of Covid-19 vaccine
MANILA, Philippines — Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Friday appealed for more patience amid the delay in the arrival of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, admitting that the Philippines is lagging behind some countries which have already started vaccinating its citizens.
Galvez made the remark during the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (C.O.D.E.) Team visit to Pateros.
“Sa ating mga mayor, kaunting pasensya lang po. Pasensya na po talaga na talagang hindi po natin kasi hawak iyong ating supply chain doon sa ating mga vaccine,” Galvez, who also serves as the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said.
“Sana po maintindihan n’yo po ang kalagayan ng gobyerno. Kami po talaga, ginagawa po namin ang aming magagawa, lalo na sa FDA (Food and Drug Administration), na sana iyong aming, iyong ating vaccine na dadalhin dito ay very safe, effective,” he added.
Galvez said there are several variables that affect the purchase and arrival of the vaccines, pointing out that 130 countries still have no vaccines.
Among these variables include the uneven distribution of the vaccines as well as geopolitics between countries, Galvez said.
“’Yun lang ang hinihingi natin sa ating mga Manila mayors. Alam ko sabik na sabik na kayo sa bakuna. Minsan, ako po’y nahihiya dahil sabi nga, bakuna na lang ang kulang. Nasaan na iyong bakuna? Iyon ang question po sa atin ngayon,” Galvez said.
“Bilang the leading person to really procure and manage and get the best vaccine for all of us, nakita natin na talagang medyo nahuli tayo nang kaunti pero kung titingnan din natin, ang Australia hindi pa sila nagsisimula…” he added.
The Philippines stands to get 9.4 million doses from AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech through Covax facility, Galvez earlier said.
Around 5.5 million to 9.2 million doses are expected from AstraZeneca, whose initial delivery is scheduled by mid to late February. Meanwhile, 117,000 doses will come from Pfizer-BioNTech.
But Galvez earlier explained that delivery of Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca is encountering delays due to manufacturing complications.
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