Gov't 100% ready to implement COVID-19 vaccination program - Palace
The Philippine government is "100 percent ready" to roll out the immunization program against coronavirus disease, Malacanang said on Wednesday.
In a television interview, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the only issue is the date of arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility.
"Well as you know, we are a 100 percent ready to implement the vaccine program. The only issue is when the vaccine will actually arrive. And as far as the actual date, we're actually dependent on the COVAX Facility," he said.
According to Roque, based on the COVAX communication to the government, the COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in the country by mid-February.
"I am not giving up on the vaccines arriving on or before February 15, because the date we communicated in the official letter of the COVAX Facility said mid-February and we are still hoping. In fact, it’s not just the airport personnel and the DOH (Department of Health) that are ready, but most of the logistics company that are already ready," he said.
Under the COVAX Facility, he said the vaccines that will arrive in batches in the country are those produced by Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
Roque, also the spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, recalled the simulation conducted on Tuesday in transporting the vaccines from the airport going to the storage facility of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and to priority COVID-19 referral hospitals in Metro Manila.
He also said that the Pfizer vaccines, which are expected to arrive first under the COVAX Facility, will also be sent to Cebu and Davao City aside from Metro Manila due to sub-zero temperature requirement.
The government is targeting to inoculate first at least 1.4 million frontline health workers when the vaccines arrive. Celerina Monte/DMS