Gatchalian pushes for creation of virology, vaccine institute
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has renewed the push for the creation of the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines (VVIP) as delays continue to hound the arrival of the COVID-19 bivalent vaccines in the country.
“With the damage of COVID-19 that we have seen, we need to be ready for the future, and it’s important that we have our own research and development in the field of studying vaccines to prevent any disease that can take lives,” Gatchalian said in a statement on Monday.
Earlier, the Department of Health admitted to “slight delays” in the procurement of a million doses of bivalent vaccines that were supposed to arrive in March.
Gatchalian is among the senators who filed in the 19th Congress a bill to establish a VVIP.
The proposal aims to create the VVIP as a pioneer research and development institute.
The bill, Gatchalian noted, will also develop vaccines for animal and plant diseases to avoid losses for local farmers.
A counterpart measure in the House of Representatives was approved by the chamber on the third and final reading in December last year.
—MAE ANNE BILOLO (TRAINEE)
Bill creating virology, vaccine institute passed
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