DOH: ‘Slight delays’ hit acquisition of bivalent vax vs COVID-19 this March
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) reported Tuesday that there are “slight delays” in the procurement of a million doses of bivalent vaccines that are supposed to arrive this March.
DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the setback is still being caused by the country’s lifting of the COVID-19 state of calamity declaration.
Bivalent vaccines are a type of vaccine that targets specific variants of COVID-19, like the more transmissible Omicron.
Vergeire explained during a press briefing that the lifting of the COVID-19 state of calamity declaration means that they have to meet certain conditions to warrant the procurement of the shots.
Among these requirements are indemnification clauses and immunity from liability, among others.
“Nagkakaroon lang tayo ng kaunting delays because ‘yung state of calamity ay na-lift na and alongside with it may mga condition na kasama ‘yan na kailangan natin bigyang tugon, katulad ng mga immunity from liability atsaka indemnification clauses na rnire-require ng mga manufacturers and even with our international agreements,” she said.
(We’re only having a few delays because the state of calamity has been lifted and alongside it, there are conditions that we need to respond to, such as immunity from liability and indemnification clauses that are required by manufacturers and even with our international agreements.)
READ: Bivalent vax purchase hit ‘roadblock’ as COVID-19 state of calamity in PH not extended
“So ngayon ito lang po ‘yung ating hinihingan ng guidance coming from the Office of the President, if we can enter into these agreements,” she added.
(So now, this is what we are asking for guidance from the Office of the President, if we can enter into these agreements.)
Earlier, the DOH said delivery of the first batch of donated bivalent vaccines to the country are expected this month.
READ: Bivalent COVID-19 vaccines coming soon — DOH
This batch supposedly consist a total of 1,002,000 doses of the bivalent vaccines from COVAX which will be administered to the country’s vulnerable population, A1, A2, A3 or healthcare workers, senior citizens, and people with co-morbidities.
DOH aims to have bivalent vaccines available by Q1 2023
What to know about ‘bivalent vaccines’ that target Omicron
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What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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