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Vaccines from private sector to further reopen economy

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Vaccines from private sector to further reopen economy
“We need a fast and almost perfect rollout and the private sector, with the arrival of these vaccine doses from AstraZeneca, can now do that for its employees,” Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion added as he noted the need to step up the country’s vaccine efforts and open the economy in a safe manner.
AFP / Christof STACHE

MANILA, Philippines — The arrival of a new batch of AstraZeneca vaccines purchased by the private sector will support the country’s efforts to strengthen its fight against COVID-19 and allow the safe reopening of the economy, according to presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion.

In a statement, he said the shipment of 661,200 doses, the third this month, is “very timely” in helping prevent the Delta variant from spreading further.

“We need a fast and almost perfect rollout and the private sector, with the arrival of these vaccine doses from AstraZeneca, can now do that for its employees,” Concepcion added as he noted the need to step up the country’s vaccine efforts and open the economy in a safe manner.

National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. and AstraZeneca country president Lotis Ramin welcomed the arrival of the vaccines, purchased through Go Negosyo’s A Dose of Hope initiative, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport yesterday.

“This milestone is the result of the collective efforts of our LGUs (local government units), our private sector partners,= and our health care workers. They always find ways to ensure that they will deliver on their promises. We got the commitment of our LGUs such that our vaccination efforts this September will be more aggressive to quell the Delta variant,” Galvez said.

The government also expects to receive 190,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines this weekend or early next week.

“As per our vaccine experts from the Department of Health, the gap between first and second doses of Sputnik V can be as long as six months. So, no need to worry because the vaccines are arriving soon,” Galvez added.

Concepcion said the AstraZeneca vaccines would help the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“Ramped up vaccination during the granular lockdowns in NCR (National Capital Region) will help us beat the Delta variant, thereby allowing us to save the fourth quarter of the year from irreversible effects to the health care system and to the economy,” he added.

Ramin vowed to support the Philippines in the battle against COVID-19, saying the vaccine arrival shows AstraZeneca’s “continuous efforts to help Filipinos regain a sense of normalcy and achieve economic recovery as soon as possible.”

“We continue to collaborate and work closely with the national government, LGUs and the private sector to help heal the nation. This collaborative effort, we define and practice as bayanihan, has made an impact on the country’s total efforts against the pandemic,” she said.

Meanwhile, Galvez said the government is ready to administer the vaccines to adolescents should it be allowed.

“In NTF, our mission is to vaccinate all the Filipino people. That is the standing order of the President. We are not safe until everyone is safe. It is our objective to vaccinate all,” he stressed.

However, he clarified that the NTF is still coordinating with the vaccine expert panel on this issue.

“Just in case they decide and recommend that the adolescents or those 12 to 17 years old will be allowed for vaccination, we are ready. It is better to vaccinate everyone,” Galvez said.

He noted that without the recommendation of the panel and an official order allowing the vaccination of minors, the NTF would focus on vaccinating other priority groups, including seniors.

“Those (aged) 60 years old and above are more vulnerable. That is why we gave priority to the elderly, the senior citizens. I repeat to all the LGUs outside the NCR, you are now authorized to vaccinate priority groups from A1 to A5,” Galvez said. – Jose Rodel Clapano, Rudy Santos

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