Amid concerns that the government has no feasible plan of action for immunizing Filipinos against Covid19, Senate will launch an inquiry into their vaccination program.
The senate has agreed to assemble as a whole committee after Sen. Francis Pangilinan voiced his privilege speech in which the lawmaker stated that they were “pretty much in the dark as to the game plan”.
He listed critical questions which included:
• How much is needed to immunize 70% of the population?
• Is a supplemental budget needed to fund this?
• Is there a timetable to finish vaccination?
• How many Filipinos can receive the shot with the budget of P72.5 billion?
• When will the process begin?
• How will the rollout go?
• Who gets the jab first?
• How will they be vaccinated and who will administer it?
• Does the government have logistical capacity to ensure effective delivery of vaccines to the grassroots?
• What is the game plan?
He insisted that the country needs “clear and concrete action step and deliverables”, pertaining to the program. He also noted steps already taken by other governments, among them advanced ordering and payments, preparation of deep freezers or even just simple identification of “strategic deliverables.”
Even so, he cautioned against “overreliance” on vaccines, stressing that accurate, timely data, observance of protocols, access to testing equipment and protective gear as well as a functioning healthcare system are vital to ending the pandemic. Naming nations like New Zealand, Vietnam and Taiwan, Pangilinan said: “It can be done and has been done.”
This comes as vaccines have already begun being administered to the public, first among them the United Kingdom.