Sun. Dec 6th, 2020
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.news.ctgn.com)

The government has revved up the country’s vaccine roadmap and timeline and will be presented to President Rodrigo Duterte, National Policy against Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. announced on Tuesday.

In a virtual press briefing, Galvez, newly appointed vaccine czar, said the roadmap would serve as an avenue to “normalcy and full economic recovery.”

Galvez cited considerations in designing the vaccine roadmap, which include safety and underlying health risks, efficacy, sensitivity, costs and supply chain requirements, access for clinical trials, local production and distribution as well as complexity on the implementation.

Galvez said the roadmap’s phases are composed of four operation cycles that include assessment, planning, preparation, and execution.

“Most likely, the vaccine will be available by early next year [2021],” Galvez said.

He said the National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 will be presenting the draft roadmap to President Duterte for his approval.

“We are planning to present it on Thursday,” Galvez said.

According to the critical timeline of the vaccine roadmap from November to December this year, the government will organize a panel of experts on vaccination.

By the end of this year, Galvez said the government targets the approval of vaccine analysis, selection, and procurement.

This also includes the beginning of various clinical trials for potential Covid-19 vaccines, he added.

He said the government targets to complete bilateral and multilateral engagements with other governments as well as the private sector.

Galvez said the scientific evaluation, selection, and guaranteed acquisition of the vaccine should be completed by the end of December.

From January to March 2021, the government targets to complete the procurement process, production, shipment, and storage for the vaccine as well as the implementation plan should be ready rollout.

Country’s vaccine czar

During a Cabinet meeting on Monday night, Duterte announced Galvez’s designation as “vaccine czar” to ensure the country’s access to a potential Covid-19 vaccine, once available.

Galvez said the planning for the country’s vaccination program sustains a whole-of-government approach.

He said the Department of Health (DOH) will serve as the primary response agency all throughout the stages of the Philippine national vaccine roadmap and timeline.

“We will be having a distribution of efforts,” he said.

Galvez, meanwhile, cited the significant assistance that the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines could provide in terms of vaccine storage and manpower for the rollout of the country’s inoculation program against Covid-19.

Once a viable vaccine for procurement is identified, the local government units (LGUs) are in-charge of strategic communication and logistical information system.

Galvez cited the vital role of LGUs in the country’s pandemic response as they are the ones who can identify the priority sectors for the planned vaccination program.”The organizational structure for the vaccination rollout is composed of inter-agency approach and the majority of the information needed during the implementation will be coming from the health sectors and the LGUs,” Galvez said. PNA

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