Arrival of COVID-19 bivalent vaccines ‘on hold’
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said that the arrival of donated COVID-19 bivalent vaccines is currently “on hold,” as the agreement with COVAX, the vaccine manufacturer, contains conditions that still need to be studied.
According to DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, the said agreement for the donated vaccines is being studied by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) because of conditions it contains such as immunity from liability and requiring the country to have indemnification.
“For now it is still being further studied by the OSG and the DOJ. Kailangan po maintindihan ng mga kababayan ‘yung pong clause na nakainclude dito po sa ating mga agreements, would require us to have indemnification unang una, pangalawa is the immunity from liability,” said Vergeire in a press forum.
(For now, it is still being further studied by the OSG and the DOJ. The people need to understand that the clause included in our agreements would require us to have indemnification first, and the second is the immunity from liability.)
“Ito po ‘yung pinagaaralan nating maigi para naman hindi natin nagigiveup ‘yung ating karapatan bilang bansa in terms of these agreements. So for now nakahold po tayo, but we are confident that we can still push through and get these COVAX donations,” she added.
(This is what we are studying carefully so that we do not give up our rights as a country regarding these agreements. So, for now, we are on hold, but we are confident that we can still push through and get these COVAX donations.)
Vergeire said that the government is currently exhausting all efforts to push through with the donations, pointing out the stipulation in the bill establishing the Philippine Center for Disease Control (CDC) as one of its options that could cover vaccine agreements.
“Tayo po ay nag include diyan ng isang provision kung saan mako-cover po nito itong mga iniiwasan natin o ito pong mga provisions na kailangan sa mga agreements natin with those that are going to donate vaccines for COVID-19 here in the country,” said Vergeire.
(We have included a provision that can cover the things we are trying to avoid or these provisions that are needed in our agreements with those that are going to donate vaccines for COVID-19 here in the country.)
The DOH previously said that the first batch of donated bivalent vaccines was expected to arrive by March.
A total of 1,002,000 doses of the bivalent vaccines from COVAX were expected to arrive, and they are to be inoculated to the country’s vulnerable population, A1, A2, A3 or healthcare workers, senior citizens, and those with comorbidities.
Bivalent vaccines are a type of vaccine that targets specific variants of COVID-19, like the more transmissible Omicron.
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