Senate in first phase of COVID-19 vaccine procurement plan — Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate’s plan to procure COVID-19 vaccines for its employees is in its initial phase, Senate President Vicente Sotto said Saturday.
“Siguro nasa first phase. Sumang-ayon mga kasama namin. Nagpasabi kami ngayon na si [vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.] ay timbrehan. So yung medical services namin, naghahanda ng formal request,” Sotto said during the Laging Handa online press briefing.
(We’re in our first phase, our colleagues agreed. We also informed Secretary Galvez. So our medical services team is preparing the formal request.)
Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier floated the possibility that the upper chamber will obtain 5,000 doses of Gamaleya Research Institute’s Sputnik V COVID-19 jab for its employees.
Sotto said that aside from Zubiri’s suggestion to procure the Sputnik V COVID-19 jabs, Senator Panfilo Lacson also suggested the use of the Sinopharm brand.
The Food and Drug Administration recently the Sputnik V vaccine an emergency use authority (EUA).
Sinopharm also submitted its application for EUA, but it has yet to be granted.
Sotto, however, clarified that the Senate’s medical personnel will be vaccinated first should the plan push though.
“Syempre frontline health workers muna ng Senado. meron kaming health services eh. Sila muna ang mauuna at tsaka di naman ‘yun bukas na bukas din. Pinaplano pa lang,” Sotto said during the Laging Handa online briefing.
(Of course, frontline health workers in the Senate will be vaccinated first. And the vaccination will not be done quickly, we’re still planning it.)
Should the Senate procure vaccines, it will still have to go through a tripartite deal with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).
The Senate President previously announced that the Senate has extended its lockdown until April 12 due to the rise in the number of its employees with COVID-19.
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