Local government units should have the necessary infrastructure to conduct mass inoculation drive and avoid wastage, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Thursday.
“We know that you can do it but see to it that the mechanism, ‘yong infrastructure ninyo sa baba kailangan must be able to come up with the numbers required kasi itong mga bakuna may expiry date. It cannot be effective forever. The efficacy loses in a less period of time than other medications,” President Duterte said during his public address on government response on COVID-19.
“So kailangan pagdating doon sa inyo mapatakbo na kaagad ninyo ‘yong administrative pati siguro mga local — may mga hospital. Magtulung-tulungan na lang so that we would not waste the vaccines because we were not able to deliver it on time.”
It would be a problem if the vaccines expire due to lack of infrastructure on the part of the LGUs who are supposed to facilitate giving the shot to the targeted population on time, the President said.
Some vaccines are so sensitive that require certain temperature to maintain their efficacy such as Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna.
“I am just saying this because I do not want to lose the battle here through negligence,” he stressed. “Alam ninyo, you — mga doktor all throughout alam nila ‘yan. It’s a very simple way of explaining to the people. The only problem is you are not able to administer the vaccines on time because there is a limited period of time for their effectiveness.”
The national government has presented to the private sector and LGUs its focus and expand strategy, aimed at prioritizing areas with high economic, social, and health risks, Secretary Carlito Galvez said in his report to the President.
Health experts have already identified those areas, Galvez said, noting the government will provide steady supply of vaccines in those jurisdictions once the bulk of supplies arrive.
Among those areas include the so-called NCR Plus, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.
For the NCR Plus, the vaccine czar said there’s a need to allocate 3.3 million every month. For Davao and Cebu, the allocation should be 400,000 each month.
He predicted that once this monthly allocation is reached, herd immunity could be achieved by November or by December.
Similar initiatives will be done in Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Cagayan de Oro City, Baguio City, Cagayan Valley, CAR and Zamboanga.
“Ang gagawin po talaga natin is ‘yong tinatawag nating for focus targeting para ‘yong centers of gravity iyon kaagad ang ating i-strengthen para ‘yong risk mawala po, sir, ang risk,” he said.
“Mawala rin ang economic risk at puwede na po tayong mag-open ng ating economy. Iyon po ang ating strategy po na gagawin, Mr. President.”
The government has so far administered 2.6 million doses with a nationwide daily average of 83,000.
The government has a total vaccine inventory of 7.7 million doses and was able to put up 3,458 vaccination sites. PND