Go: Poor, vulnerable should be prioritized in COVID vaccine

Members of poor and vulnerable sector should be prioritized in the immunization against COVID-19 once vaccines are available in the country, Sen. Christopher Go reiterated Monday.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (OFFICE OF SEN. BONG GO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Go said giving the poor and vulnerable access to the vaccines will also address the spread of the novel coronavirus and will prevent the country's health care system from getting further overwhelmed.

"We must keep the enemy at bay until a vaccine arrives. Hindi dapat bumagsak ang ating health care system (Our health care system should not collapse) ” Go said.

"Totoong mahirap ang buhay ngayon, pero pangunahing layunin muna natin ang maitigil ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa ating bansa para mas mapabilis ang pagbalik natin muli sa normal na pamumuhay (Our priority should be to curb the spread of COVID-19 so we could recover quickly to normal)," he added.

The government has been working with the World Health Organizational (WHO) and other countries for the development and possible distribution of vaccines against COVID-19.

The Department of Science and Technology, which leads the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases' sub-technical working group on vaccine development, said that while the Philippines does not yet have the capacity to produce vaccines, there have been plans to have state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities for this.

The WHO, however, recently said that it does not expect widespread immunization against COVID-19 until mid-2021. It maintained that it would never endorse a vaccine that has not proven safe and effective.

Go, who served as President Duterte's special assistant and long-time aide, said he would make sure that the poor and vulnerable will be prioritized for the vaccines.

Meanwhile, he appealed anew to the public to continue to strictly follow health and safety protocols being implemented by the government.