By Ernie Reyes
The Guardian photo courtesy
MANILA — Senator Nancy Binay urged the Department of Health to fast track the
release of all the COVID-19 vaccines in stock to help address the
increased demand due to the A4 priority group.
“Ilarga na’t i-release yung lahat ng vaccines na nasa government
storage facilities. Sayang yung panahon kung paghihintayin pa natin
ang mga tao hanggang next week. By then, baka tinubuan na ng mga dahon
ang bakuna bago makarating sa centers. Clearly, there should be no
excuses,” she added.
Binay said she considers the closure of some inoculation centers in
Metro Manila “unacceptable” because of the DOH’s failure to deliver
vaccines on time.
“As of this week, marami pang bakunang nakaimbak sa storage facilities
ng DOH kaya parang ang hirap tanggapin na walang maibigay sa mga
vaccination centers sa Maynila, Marikina at Antipolo. Habang mayroong
di nailalabas sa warehouse at nakakarating sa tao ang bakuna,
technically, it does not serve its intended purpose. May buhay na
nakokompromiso,” she noted.
To date, about 9.3 million vaccines are in stockpile; 8.6 million have
been deployed; and more than 6 million have been administered, with
still close to a million doses stored in government facilities.
“Meron pang 2 million doses ng Pfizer na darating bukas plus 1 million
each ng Sputnik and Sinovac. Sana i-release kaagad at ilabas na ang
mga bakuna ng DOH para mapakinabangan ito agad ng ating mga
kababayan,” Binay pointed out.
Many local executives claim that vaccines stored in the national
government’s facilities have yet to reach densely-populated cities and
“Dapat nga lahat ng 1st dose vaccines ay nai-release na, at kung meron
mang naiwan sa storage, yung mga 2nd dose na lang. Kung nag-decide man
ang IATF na buksan na ang A4 category, dapat handa rin ang DOH to
cover the necessary requirements tulad ng syringes at iba pang gamit,”
the senator added.
Government data show that there are approximately 13 million workers
in Metro Manila and other areas in NCR Plus 8 who belong to the A4
Another 22.5 million workers are in areas outside NCR Plus 8, bringing
the total estimated number of workers to 35.5 million.
“Lahat naman tayo gustong maging maayos na at manumbalik na ang
ekonomiya. If these vaccines remain stored in warehouses and do not
reach the LGUs on time, not only will we be seeing a lot of empty
tents and chairs–we are exposing a big percentage of our workforce to
more contagious variants,” Binay noted. (AI/MTVN)