People won’t line up in rain, flood if COVID-19 vaccines are sufficient – activist to Duterte | Inquirer News
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People won’t line up in rain, flood if COVID-19 vaccines are sufficient – activist to Duterte

/ 11:15 PM July 26, 2021
ADDED RISK Residents and workers stand in the rain and wade through floodwaters on Wednesday—risking infection from waterborne diseases—just to get into San Andres Sports Complex in Manila, one of the COVID-19 vaccination hubs in the city. —RICHARD A. REYES

People stand in the rain and wade through a flooded street on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 — at the risk of getting infected with waterborne diseases — just to get into San Andres Sports Complex in Manila, one of the COVID-19 vaccination sites in the city. (File photo by RICHARD A. REYES / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — People would not have to stand in long lines during rainfall and flooding just to get vaccinated for COVID-19 if there are enough vaccines, Renato Reyes, secretary-general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said on Monday in reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s chiding a local government unit for continuing its inoculation program despite bad weather.

Duterte earlier vented his frustration at an LGU, which he did not name, during his final State of the Nation Address.

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“Nobody would stand in a long line for vaccination if the supply of vaccines is enough,” Reyes said in Filipino in a tweet. “Procurement of vaccines is the job of the national government. So before blaming LGUs, you should first assess why we were delayed in getting vaccines.”

In his SONA, Duterte said the LGU was so removed from the struggles of the people, suggesting that it should instead use other facilities like gymnasiums and schools as vaccination sites.

READ: Duterte hits LGU for letting people queue for vaccines amid rain

The Philippines got its first delivery of COVID-19 vaccines only in late February, setting back the planned vaccination dates by almost a month.  The first batch of vaccines was also mostly donated, which meant that vaccinations were reliant on whatever supply was available.

But as early as December, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III failed to submit the documents needed to secure a deal with US pharmaceutical company Pfizer — which would have given the Philippines its COVID-19 vaccines as early as January 2021.

READ: Duque ‘failed’ to submit documents needed for Pfizer vaccine deal – Lacson

READ: TIMELINE: The scuttled COVID-19 vaccine deal with Pfizer

Duque denied the accusation, saying that there were things that could not be rushed.  He also downplayed the claim that Pfizer had promised to deliver 10 million doses in January.

READ: Duque denies not acting quickly enough on Pfizer vaccine

READ: No Pfizer guarantee of 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine for PH – Duque

Reyes also took notice of how long it took for Duterte to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic response, considering that the Philippines had one of the worst situations in Southeast Asia.

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As Duterte was delivering his SONA, Reyes tweeted: “It’s nearly 6 p.m. Still no mention in #SONA2021 about pandemic policies. Other than giving health workers a shoutout, what’s the plan for lifting the country out of its collapse?”

“We have long been stuck at 50k daily testing capacity, stupid. You promised 90k daily. NOTHING. What is needed now because of the high positivity rate is 100k per day. NOTHING. What are you proud of?”

As of Monday, the Philippines has 1,555,396 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 55,140 or 3.5 percent are active infections. There are 1,473,009 recoveries across the country, while the death toll has ballooned to 27,247.

To counter the rising cases and the spread of variants of concern like the Delta variant, the country is banking on COVID-19 vaccines.  On Friday, the country recorded the highest-single day administered jabs at 472,356, bringing the total doses given to over 16 million.

Of that number, at least five million have been fully vaccinated.

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TAGS: Bayan, covid-19 vaccination, Renato Reyes, Rodrigo Duterte, SONA 2021
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