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Ensure accessible and safe COVID-19 vaccine for all Filipinos — Go

Bong Go
Bong Go

AFTER President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 121 on Wednesday, which allows the Director-General of the Food and Drug Administration to issue Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) drugs and vaccines, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Health, now wants to ensure access to safe and effective vaccine for all Filipinos.

With the EUA, the process of approving the use of COVID-19 vaccines from abroad will be expedited.

“Napirmahan na po ni Pangulong Duterte ‘yung (EO allowing the issue of) Emergency Use Authorization, so ngayon, mas mabilis na ang proseso. Mas mabilis makakagalaw ang FDA. Ito ang inaantay ng FDA kasi merong vaccine na dumaan na sa clinical trial sa ibang bansa at gusto nila magbenta dito sa atin. Ito ay papayagan thru EUA,” Go said.

“Sisiguraduhin po ng FDA na safe po ang vaccine at ‘yung efficacy ng vaccine na ito dahil hindi po basta basta papayag ang taumbayan na turukan ng vaccine kung di sila sigurado na safe sila,” he added.

Go said that it does not matter where the vaccine will come from as long as it is safe and effective. He added that as long as it is approved by the proper experts and authorities, the company that can provide the volume of vaccines needed in the country and can meet the requirements set by the government will be tapped.

In addition, Go had discussed with Carlito G. Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 (NAP), that the acquisition of the vaccines from international companies, such as Gamaleya, Moderna and Pfizer, will be done by phases.

“So ang tanging isyu dito ay dapat maging safe muna bago nila ibigay, walang papayag na magpa-inject kung di sigurado na safe. Buhay ng bawat Pilipino ang nakataya dito, di natin makukumbinsi ang mga Pilipino kung di tayo siguradong safe ang vaccine na ituturok sa kanila,” he said.

“Ito ang napag-usapan namin ni DOH Secretary Duque and Sec. Galvez na kapag nadeklara na itong safe ng FDA, uunahin natin ang mahihirap, uunahin natin ang mga vulnerable,” he reiterated.

“Uunahin rin natin ang mga frontliners, mga nagtatrabaho sa panahong ito tulad ng mga medical workers, militar at PNP. And, of course mga guro, kasi kung magbubukas na tayo ng klase sa susunod na taon, sila ang kailangan na safe po dahil haharap sila sa mga estudyante,” he added further.

As for the budget, Go said that sufficient funds shall be allocated for the procurement, storage and distribution of the vaccines. He reminded concerned officials to ensure that public funds are used properly and the right processes are followed.

“Kailangan natin meron tayong pondo dahil magrereserba po tayo nito. At ipinaalala po ni Pangulong Duterte sa finance managers natin na siguraduhing magkaroon ng due diligence. Bago bayaran, siguraduhing makakadeliver sila. Bago bigyan ng downpayment, siguraduhing ito po ang timetable at makakarating at mauuna sa mahihirap nating kababayan,” he added.