Prioritize PH in COVAX vaccine delivery, Pangilinan asks WHO
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan on Thursday urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to prioritize the Philippines in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX facility to prevent the country’s health system from collapsing.
“[W]e are urging WHO to put the Philippines on top of the list of beneficiaries in its [COVAX] facility and deliver to us the urgently needed vaccines to avert the collapse of our healthcare system,” Pangilinan said in a message shared with reporters.
“We urge the (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) to aggressively negotiate with WHO for an earlier delivery in order to prevent the situation from deteriorating into a humanitarian crisis,” he added.
Pangilinan issued the call after the WHO expressed concern over “the situation in the Philippines,” adding that the country was close to crossing the “red line” in exhausting its health care capacity to handle the pandemic following a surge in COVID-19 cases.
On Sunday, the Philippines logged 6,414 new infections, bringing the total of active cases to 158,701. The country’s total COVID-19 tally now stands at 819,164.
Last week, the country saw record-high daily additional infections, with the highest single-day increase at 15,310 reported last April 2.
The country has so far administered COVID-19 vaccines to 922,898 Filipinos, including healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities, who are at the top of the COVID-19 vaccination priority list.
The Philippines is expecting 2 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines this month, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said.
The Philippines is also slated to receive at least 5.6 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility in the first quarter of the year.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.