Task group created for deployment of COVID-19 vaccine to beneficiaries
In this file photo capped vials are being pictured during filling and packaging tests for the large-scale production and supply of the University of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate, AZD1222, on a high-performance aseptic vial filling line on September 11, 2020 at the Italian biologics’ manufacturing facility of multinational corporation Catalent in Anagni, southeast of Rome, during the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus.
AFP/Vincenzo Pinto

Task group created for deployment of COVID-19 vaccine to beneficiaries

(Philstar.com) - October 30, 2020 - 12:28pm

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s coronavirus task force has created a task group that would ensure coronavirus vaccines, once available, will reach the priority population, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced the creation of the “COVID-19 Immunization Program Management Organizational Structure,” which is tasked to ensure the “successful and efficient” deployment of COVID-19 vaccines to target population.

The task group will be under the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and will be led by the Department of Health.

“The DOH has been directed to immediately convene the Task Group Immunization Management and establish sub-task groups as necessary,” Roque said.

He earlier said the government was already preparing for the storage, transport and distribution of vaccines on the ground, including cold storage facilities needed to maintain the potency of vaccines.

The government aims to inoculate an initial target of 20 million people, which include health workers, poor Filipinos and even state forces.

President Rodrigo Duterte said on October 14 that the government needs more funds to procure COVID-19 vaccines as he now aims to vaccinate the country’s entire population.

Last week, the House of Represenatives increased the budget allocated for purchase of COVID-19 vaccines to 8 billion from 2.5 billion. 

Philippine officials expect to get access to approved coronavirus vaccines by the second quarter of 2021. 

The president is pinning his hopes on the candidate vaccines being developed by Chinese and Russian drugmakers. China's Sinovac Biotech and Russia's Gamaleya Research Insitute have submitted applications to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines.

The country is also in talks with different vaccine developers from other countries. 

Final quarantine classifications

Roque also announced that Metro Manila, along with other areas, will be under general community quarantine until end-November, despite appeals from local officials. 

“Nothing changed in the quarantine guidelines announced by our president,” he said.

Aside from the capital region, the following areas will be under GCQ:

  • Batangas
  • Iloilo City
  • Bacolod City
  • Tacloban City
  • Iligan City
  • Lanao del Sur

The rest of the Philippines will be under modified GCQ. — Gaea Katreena Cabico

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