THE Department of Health has called on the public to temper expectations on a potential vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech being 90% effective against COVID-19, considering that the results are still in the early stages.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the appeal after President Rodrigo Duterte said that there is nothing to fear about COVID-19 because vaccines are ready while lamenting that these are expensive.
“Hindi naman kailangang matakot sa COVID-19. Ang kailangan natin maging laging vigilant, laging handa, laging cautious and aware, laging sumusunod sa minimum health standards (washing of hands, physical distancing, ban on mass gathering),” Vergeire said in an online briefing.
“Itong bakuna ng Pfizer ay napaka-encouraging po, but we should temper our expectations and remain grounded on the reality na ginagawa pa lang ito,” she added.
The President earlier said that the government intends to borrow $300 million for the procurement of vaccines against COVID-19.
The Duterte administration only earmarked P2.5 billion for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines under its proposed 2021 national budget.
The DOH earlier said the amount is not enough as P12.9 billion is needed to purchase vaccines enough to immunize at least 20 million of the 110 million Filipino population.
“Hindi na talaga nakakatakot ang COVID. But sa ngayon, magbili ka mahal. But as I have promised, gastos ng gobyerno itong bakuna para sa lahat ng Pilipino. Kaya umpisahan natin sa mga mahirap,” Duterte said in his Tuesday night address.
The Philippines has recorded 399,749 COVID-19 cases so far. Of this number, 361,919 recovered while 7,661 died. The number of active COVID-19 cases is 30,169.