Senator Christopher “Bong” Go said that members of the media should also be considered in the priority list of the government’s national Covid-19 vaccination program. together with other sectors already identified as priorities, such as frontliners as well as poor and vulnerable sectors.
In a turnover of a fire truck and a government grant to cooperatives in Kibawe, Bukidnon, Go made the push even as he endorsed a Vaccine Indemnification Fund intended to be earmarked exclusively to compensate and indemnify identified vaccine recipients who sustain injury in connection with the use of the vaccines and where the adverse effects are attributable to the vaccination.
According to vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., all vaccine manufacturers require indemnity and liability frameworks, which include setting up an indemnification fund backed by legislation to safeguard them from possible damage suits. They have informed the NTF that without legislation covering indemnification, they may not be able to supply the vaccine.
Galvez also said that immunization could start between late February or in March, when the first batch of vaccine doses are expected to arrive in the country.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar stressed the need for media workers to be prioritized in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine once it is available.
In a virtual interview on RMN DYZL Manila on Wednesday, Secretary Andanar, who is a staunch supporter of media workers’ welfare, said that they should be considered as frontliners.
Responding to a Pulse Asia survey indicating 47% of Filipinos are unwilling to be inoculated due to safety concerns, Secretary Andanar admittedit is a challenge for the government to reverse the sentiments of Filipinos on the safety of the vaccines.
He said, “We really have to convert those 47% because as what the President said, we really need to vaccinate the people so that we can have a society, where we can dream again and can compete with other economies”.
The PCOO, together with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), recently launched the Explain, Explain, Explain Town Hall Meeting, informing local government units (LGUs) and the public about the processes undertaken by the government to implement its National Covid-19 Vaccine Roadmap.
Meanwhile, Go said that he is willing to be vaccinated in public along with President Duterte to allay the fears of the public over the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“Nagkausap na rin kami ni Pangulong Duterte. Plano na rin n’yang magpabakuna kung pumayag na po ang kanyang doktor at dapat po itong isa-publiko para makuha po ang kumpiyansa ng mga Pilipino para magpabakuna ang iba,” Go said.
The senator said that the President is just waiting for his doctor’s clearance as which vaccine would be applied to him.“ May Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm.”