âVaccine czar needs expert backupâ
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said the distribution and inoculation of vaccines to tens of millions of Filipinos is “not a job for one Superman, but for a broad Justice League.”
Philstar.com/ File
‘Vaccine czar needs expert backup’
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Senators and some members of the medical community welcomed the designation of Secretary Carlito Galvez as the country’s “vaccine czar” but stressed that a team of scientific and logistics experts must support him in the task of deploying serums to fight the coronavirus to millions of Filipinos nationwide.

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said the distribution and inoculation of vaccines to tens of millions of Filipinos is “not a job for one Superman, but for a broad Justice League.”

He wished Galvez – also chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 – good luck on his additional assignment as “no mission is tougher, and no stake is higher, than providing vaccines for all.”

“But that burden is too heavy for one man to bear. This is not a job for one Superman. He has to assemble his Justice League. Not just from the military, but from all sectors, especially businesses with the supply-chain expertise to regularly restock millions of stores of their products seamlessly,” Recto said.

He said Galvez is the mere conductor of an orchestra that must work in perfect symphony as vaccine delivery is a major production involving millions of moving parts.

“There is the supply-to-syringe challenge of bringing 220 million doses in subzero temperatures to 110 million people in an archipelago where cold chain infrastructure is lacking,” Recto said.

Dr. Anthony Leachon, chairman of the Kilusang Kontra COVID-19 (KilKoVid), said he knew Galvez as “a good leader and a hardworking military general with passion and commitment” when they both worked at the NTF.

“The vaccine czar needs extensive experience in pharmaceutical medicine, regulatory and clinical affairs, public health, clinical research in vaccination, epidemiology, procurement, supply chain and distribution,” Leachon said.

“He needs as well to have extensive leadership experience in logistics in both domestic and international arena,” he said.

Although 170 candidate vaccines are in various stages of clinical trials or development, the World Health Organization says only about two billion doses can be rolled out by the end of 2021, Leachon warned. – Mayen Jaymalin

COVID-19 VACCINE
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