Government ready to roll out vaccination program— Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection

Published February 4, 2021, 10:11 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

For those who questioned the government’s readiness to roll out its vaccination program this month, the Task Group on Vaccine Evaluation and Selection (TG-VES) has something to say: We are ready.

(Agence France Presse / MANILA BULLETIN)

Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Rowena Cristina Guevara, who leads the task group, said the decision of the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility to provide 117,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and at least 5.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the Philippines proves that the government is up to task to implement its vaccination plan.

“’Yung COVAX [Facility] kasi hindi ka bibigyan kung hindi ka ready the fact na pinadalhan na nila tayo ng communication na magro-roll out kami ng ganitong kadami sa inyo is most positive that we are ready,” she told the Manila Bulletin in an interview.

(COVAX Facility will not give you vaccines if you are not ready the fact they communicated to us that they will roll out this much is most positive that we are ready.)

In a statement issued Jan. 31, vaccine czar and National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr saiid the gesture of global initiative COVAX is set to “jump-start the country’s national vaccination program” as part of the global efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

He said 117,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are expected to be delivered in mid-February. While, the delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine is scheduled by mid to late February

Guevara even noted that the Philippines is included in the list of priority countries where WHO Solidarity Vaccine Trials (SVT) will be conducted.

“Sa Solidarity Vaccine Trials, dalawang bansa ang mauuna sa buong mundo na magsagawa ng clinical trial sa WHO–Columbia aand Philippines. Bakit Philippines? Dahil ready daw tayo,” he said.

(For the Solidarity Vaccine Trials, only two countries will be the first ones to conduct the WHO clinical trial—Columbia and Philippines. Why Philippines? Because we are ready.)

The DOST official earlier said the WHO is set to release to the Philippine government the final Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and specific protocols on the conduct of the SVT in the country “in two weeks’ time.”