Galvez leads COVID-19 vaccine cluster
The COVID-19 Vaccine Cluster will be headed by NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.
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Galvez leads COVID-19 vaccine cluster

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - November 7, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The government has formed a vaccine cluster under the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 to spearhead the immunization program once the vaccines are procured next year, Malacañang said yesterday.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Cluster will be headed by NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

During a meeting at Malacañang on Thursday, President Duterte approved the national roadmap strategy presented by Galvez to kick off the COVID-19 immunization program.

Galvez said the government hopes to procure the vaccines during the first quarter of next year. Two doses will be given per person within 21 days.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) restructured the NTF to form the COVID-19 Vaccine Cluster, according to presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

As a result of the restructuring, Roque said the COVID-19 Immunization Program Management task force, which was approved under IATF Resolution 82 last October, was abolished.

The abolished task force was supposed to be headed by the Department of Health (DOH).

The IATF defined the role and responsibilities of the vaccine cluster chief, including stewardship, where Galvez will coordinate with various agencies and technical working groups on behalf of the DOH.

He will facilitate the early issuance of the Certificate of Product Registration with the Food and Drug Administration, conduct of health technology assessment, price negotiations, develop protocols on accessing vaccines and registration with healthcare provider networks, among others.

The vaccine czar is also authorized to work with the Department of Budget and Management and legislators, as may be necessary, on budget and co-payment ceilings.

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