Drilon prods DOH to order now vaccine shots for 2022


SENATE Minority Leader Franklin Drilon pressed the Department of Health (DOH) Monday to order much earlier the vaccines for Covid-19 booster shots for 2022 in anticipation of a spreading “Delta variant” and other  
possible variants.

“Order the booster shots now,” Drilon said  even as he stressed the need for DOH to act fast before the supply runs out.

The senator acknowledged the urgency of ordering the vaccines earlier amid an expected rising demand for Covid-19 vaccines with the reported spread of the virus.

Various local and international think tanks have all said the Philippine economic recovery is being hobbled by the slow vaccination rollout, which began only in March, and took time to accelerate as initial supply agreements were botched.

Drilon stressed the need to acquire the booster shot vaccine supply, amid projections of more versions of the virus emerging. The Delta variant was noted as the fastest rising by scientists at the local genome center, and on Sunday, the Department of Health reported the country’s first Covid case involving the Lambda variant,

For a start, the Senate Minority Leader suggested that the officials concerned could start preparing paperwork for the purchase of the vaccines before supply runs out for booster shots against Covid, as countries where these vaccines were made, and which have more financial resources to stockpile, are already starting to plan their fall and winter inventories.

He reminded  that now is the time to place an order for the vaccine, affirming this will guarantee the timely arrival  of the vaccine supply by the second quarter of 2022.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III was blamed, months ago, for having “dropped the ball” in negotiations with US vaccine manufacturers, resulting in delays of shipment of vaccines, but he insisted that no document was unduly held up in his office. Butch Fernandez

Image courtesy of AP/Matthias Schrader

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