President Rodrigo Duterte has assured the public that no area or locality in the Philippines will be left out or neglected when it comes to the distribution of vaccines for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Let me just assure anybody, anywhere in the Philippines that the vaccines that we are giving are for all Filipinos. It’s just a matter of priority – here at the hotspots such as in Manila where many people are here, so the transmission of the virus is faster. But if they would ask if they will be given vaccines, they will receive it,” Duterte said partly in Filipino during his pre-recorded Talk to the People on Monday night.
Duterte assured that no areas will be neglected in the vaccine distribution, but said the vaccine supply in the country “is not yet stable” to expand further the local deployment.
“ If we have numbers – sufficient vaccines – The problem in the Philippines is that we don’t have enough supply. If only we have more supply then we will give it to them. If we have sufficient vaccines then they don’t have to wait, we will give them immediately. It’s just a matter of handling. Our worry is the handling and how the efficacy of the vaccine is protected,” he said partly in Filipino.
Duterte added that the distribution will be done immediately after the bulk will be delivered in the coming months.
With limited supply, Duterte said the government should prioritize those high-risk areas where the dreaded virus can be more contagious, particularly in the populated and dense communities.
“ We want to distribute the vaccines after arrival, we will just prioritize those populated hotspots. More persons, more transmission. Less crowd, less transmission,” he said partly in Filipino.
All local government units (LGUs), he assured, will be given Covid-19 vaccines as much as they needed it.
Duterte said all LGUs, including those in the far-flung communities, will get their part from large volumes of the government-procured vaccines set to arrive in the coming months.
Duterte called on the LGUs to get prepared with the arrival of vaccines in their localities so possible jab wastage could be prevented.
The government, he said, is “very conscious of its duty and fair to everybody”.
Duterte, meanwhile, announced he is set to personally welcome the deliveries of about 3 million doses of Moderna vaccines donated by the United States of America to the Philippines within this week.
To date, the Philippines has 34.275 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine and administered a total of 20.863 million doses.