Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr on Thursday, January 14, 2021, reiterated President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s January 13, 2021 Talk-to-the-People Address where the Chief Executive assured that no vaccine will be used to Filipinos that is not proven safe, sure, and secure.
“Sinabi ng Pangulo na ang mga bakunang manggagaling sa Tsina ay parehas lang sa mga bakunang mula Amerika at Europa. Tabla lang ang sabi ng ating Presidente,” said Secretary Roque in a special press briefing held at the RFM Corporate Office in Mandaluyong City.
“Tama nga naman po, na oras na ma-aprubhan ng ating Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ang mga bakuna, tabla-tabla na po sila, equal footing po sila lahat. Pare-pareho silang ligtas at mayroon pong talab,” stressed Sec. Roque.
The Cabinet official also noted what the President had said about local government units (LGUs) procuring their own vaccine. Sec. Roque underscored President Duterte’s remarks that LGUs can choose their own vaccine as long as it passes through the screening of the national government as stated in the law.
In the same press briefing, Dr. Edsel Salvana, Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health, explained that the World Health Organization has set the minimum efficacy for emergency use of vaccines at 50 percent.
Dr. Salvana, who is also a member of the Department of Health Technical Advisory Group, stressed that this does not mean that a vaccine is ineffective and will not be useful in preventing the severe form of disease.
Also in the same venue, Sec. Roque attended the “A Dose of Hope” Ceremonial Signing Wave 2 event, where the private sector and the LGUs have joined hands with the national government in a show of unity to fight COVID-19 through vaccine procurement.
“Narito tayo sa RFM Corporation para po sa tinatawag na ‘A Dose of Hope’ initiative kung saan ang pribadong sektor, ang lokal na pamahalaan, at ang ating National Task Force on COVID-19 na pinangungunahan ni Secretary Carlito Galvez ay nagkapit-bisig para makabili ng [more than]15 million more doses of AstraZeneca,” said Secretary Roque.
Also in the event are Vaccine Czar & Chief Implementer National Task Force COVID-19 Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce, and AstraZeneca Philippines President Ms. Lotis Ramin.
One of the highlights of the event is the ceremonial signing by LGUs of the second wave of AstraZeneca vaccine commitment of both the public and private sector. More than 300 companies and 39 LGUs across Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao have given their commitment in the said initiative.
The first wave of vaccine commitment from AstraZeneca involving some 37 private sector donors happened in November 2020, where some 2.6 million of AstraZeneca vaccine doses were secured and donated to the government.
The second wave, where some 17 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were secured, was made possible through the combined efforts of the LGUs and the private sector. ### OPS-PCOO