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Amid delay in COVID vaccine arrival, Galvez calls for more patience

By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: ABS-CBN News

As he admitted that the Philippines is lagging behind some countries that have conducted vaccination to its constituents, Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. called for more patience amid delay in arrival of coronavirus vaccine doses.

“Sa ating mga mayor, kaunting pasensya lang po. Pasensya na po talaga na talagang hindi po natin kasi hawak iyong ating supply chain doon sa ating mga vaccine,” Galvez said.

“Sana po maintindihan n’yo po ang kalagayan ng gobyerno. Kami po talaga, ginagawa po namin ang aming magagawa, lalo na sa FDA (Food and Drug Administration), na sana iyong aming, iyong ating vaccine na dadalhin dito ay very safe, effective,” he added.

Galvez made the remarks during the visit of Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (C.O.D.E.) Team in Pateros.

He said there are variables affecting the procurement and delivery of the vaccines, citing 130 countries that are yet to start its inoculation drive.

Galvez said among the variables are uneven vaccine distribution and geopolitics between the nations.

“’Yun lang ang hinihingi natin sa ating mga Manila mayors. Alam ko sabik na sabik na kayo sa bakuna. Minsan, ako po’y nahihiya dahil sabi nga, bakuna na lang ang kulang. Nasaan na iyong bakuna? Iyon ang question po sa atin ngayon,” Galvez said.

“Bilang the leading person to really procure and manage and get the best vaccine for all of us, nakita natin na talagang medyo nahuli tayo nang kaunti pero kung titingnan din natin, ang Australia hindi pa sila nagsisimula…” he added.

The Philippines secured 9.4 million vaccine doses from British pharmaceutical firm Astrazeneca and American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer-BioNTech through the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX Facility.

Around 5.5 million to 9.2 million doses are expected from AstraZeneca, whose initial delivery is scheduled by mid to late February. Meanwhile, 117,000 doses will come from Pfizer-BioNTech.

But Galvez earlier explained that delivery of Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca is encountering delays due to manufacturing complications.


RELATED ARTICLE: Philippine Daily Inquirer

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