Legarda seeks comprehensive immunization plan

Published January 14, 2021, 7:13 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

Deputy Speaker and Antique Lone District Rep. Loren Legarda has asked the national government and the local government units (LGUs) to work together to come up with a “comprehensive and doable” battle plan against the COVID-19 pandemic, the “war of the century.”

Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda (Congresswoman Loren Legarda Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The House leader said there should be effective implementation of the national immunization plan that should prioritize the most vulnerable sectors, as the country confirmed its first case of more contagious COVID-19 variant from the United Kingdom.

“The local communities are where the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic actually happens and it is vital for the LGUs to be fully equipped and to strengthen their protective measures against the virus, and this includes allowing the LGUs to implement their own immunization plans,” Legarda said in a statement. 

“With reports that the new strain of the COVID-19 virus has already been detected in a patient here in the Philippines, we have to exhaust all efforts even more to protect our constituents from this deadly virus,” she said.

The former three-term senator said the government’s negotiations with the different pharmaceutical companies, as well as its logical preparations for the rollout of the immunization plan, must be transparent.

These should be done in consultation with the LGUs, she said.

“We need a comprehensive and doable immunization plan – a battle plan. The virus is here to stay and let us consider this as the war of the century so we should all be ready, especially those in the battlefield,” Legarda said. 

She said more than preparing financially, LGUs through its local health offices should prepare the logistics, including the appropriate storage facilities for the vaccines. 

“The logistical challenge will be eased if the LGUs will identify strategic areas where the temperature-sensitive vaccines can be stored for efficient distribution and administration when needed. Moreover, it will also be important for the LGUs to identify as early as now the local health professionals who will be trained to conduct the vaccination program to the recipients,” she said.

“With these considerations in mind, we will have the proper directives and guidelines on the inoculation program against the COVID-19. We should learn from other countries not only the things that they have done right, but also other problems to be avoided in order to effectively roll out our own immunization plan,” Legarda added.