President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants local government units (LGUs) to secure COVID-19 vaccine storage facilities to avoid wastage as the government implements a mass inoculation drive against the coronavirus.
In his weekly public address Monday on government response to COVID-19, the President asked LGUs to tell the national government if they don’t have refrigeration facilities to store COVID-19 vaccines.
“Ang problema kasi ganito, you must have the refrigeration. Or if you do not have one, tell us in advance so that hindi kami magkamali magpadala tapos you do not have the equipment to keep the temperature desired for vaccines.”
“Masasayang lang and it will go to waste ‘pag magpadala kami doon wala kayong refrigeration o something akin to it that would ensure the integrity of the vaccine. Iyan po ang hinihingi namin.”
President Duterte said all government assets are being used to deliver the COVID-19 vaccines to remote areas of the country.
The military, he said, made an assurance that it will take care of the delivery for as long as localities have the refrigeration or the equipment necessary to preserve the efficacy of the vaccines.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said he has ordered military hospitals in the country to extend assistance to the LGUs in carrying out the government’s inoculation campaign.
“In anticipation to the arrival of huge volume of vaccines, I have alerted the military hospitals all over the country, ito po ‘yong mga ospital ng mga Philippine Army all over the country, to assist the LGUs in the vaccination program,” he told the President during Monday’s meeting.
These facilities include 20 Philippine Army hospitals, eight from the Philippine Air Force, and nine from the Philippine Navy. Eleven unified area command hospitals will also be available, according to the defense chief.
The Armed Forces has 11 ships with big refrigeration capacity, which could ferry vaccines to the islands. Air assets could also be used to transport the jabs from Manila to the provinces, he added.
With regard to the ongoing mass vaccination drive, the country’s vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said the country expects to receive additional 99,600 doses of Moderna vaccine before the end of this month. Around 13 million doses of various vaccines will be delivered to the country in July, he reported.
The Philippines has so far administered over 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with more than 2.5 million individuals getting the full dose. PND