Duterte takes blame for PH vaccine shortage in early 2021 | Inquirer News
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Duterte takes blame for PH vaccine shortage in early 2021

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 12:39 AM October 12, 2021
Duterte takes blame for vax shortage

President Rodrigo Duterte —MALACAÑANG PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said he is taking the blame for the shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in the country during the early part of the year, saying his hands were tied and he was not able to do anything to secure more vaccine doses.

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In his latest public address aired early Thursday, Duterte reasoned that there was no vaccine manufacturing firm in the Philippines, which made it difficult to secure ample supply of the COVID-19 vaccine.

He also noted that countries were scrambling for vaccine doses, with rich countries hogging the bulk of the available supply globally.

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“Kung mayroon man nagkasala diyan, aminin ko na lang, kasi wala na rin naman ako magawa, gusto ko bumili, wala naman ako mabilihan,” he said.

(If someone is at fault there, I will admit it, because I couldn’t do anything. Even though I want to buy vaccines, I couldn’t buy them.)

“Kung makipag-contest ako doon sa mga mayayaman sa bilihan ng bakuna, talagang huli ako,” he added.

(If I will contest with the rich countries, I will be left behind.)

“Kung kasalanan man ‘yan, walang iba diyan kung ‘di ako na, aaminin ko na ‘yan, ako ‘yung nakaupo ngayon sa opisina ko,” he continued.

(If that’s a crime, there’s no one else to blame. I admit it is my fault. I am the one sitting in the office.)

However, he noted that vaccinations in the country have improved with the supply of vaccine steadily coming to the Philippines.

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With this, he sees fewer Filipinos getting infected with COVID-19.

“Palagay ko kung sumusunod lang kayo, dumadating naman ‘yung mga bakuna natin,” he said.

President earlier hit wealthy nations for “hoarding” COVID-19 vaccines, saying it is selfish to even talk about booster shots when poor nations are barely getting by.

In December last year, Senator Panfilo Lacson disclosed that Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III “dropped the ball” in securing millions of doses of Pfizer’s vaccine as early as January by failing to submit a confidentiality agreement that would have allowed the transaction to push through.

Duque, however, denied that someone messed up, noting that the government’s negotiation with the US-based pharmaceutical company was still ongoing at the time.

The COVID-19 vaccination program in the Philippines started on March 1, using Sinovac vaccine doses donated by the government of China.

/MUF

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