Senator Panfilo M. Lacson expressed thanks over the weekend to the donors of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines that arrived in the Philippines recently, saying these give Filipinos hope of recovering from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
Lacson said the vaccines from China-based Sinovac, as well as AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVID-19 Vaccines Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) of the World Health Organization, would help achieve herd immunity that is a key to resuming economic activities.
“Always grateful to China and COVAX AMC for making us see a sliver of hope to achieve herd immunity,” he said on his Twitter account Friday evening, adding the P2.2-billion daily loss in household consumption and the 9.5-percent economic contraction was driving the country a step closer to insanity until the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines arrived.
Earlier, Lacson cited figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showing the Philippine economy contracted 9.5 percent in 2020, the largest contraction ever recorded.
On the other hand, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said quarantine restrictions reduced household spending by P801 billion in 2020 or some P2.2 billion a day.
Last Feb. 28, an initial batch of Sinovac vaccines donated by China arrived in the Philippines. Last March 4, some 480,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived via the COVAX facility.
Although the donated doses are not even one percent of the targeted 70-million population to attain herd immunity, Lacson said they “give us hope that the vaccines are already here.”
“We will always be grateful to them for our first taste of the vaccines. It gives us hope,” he added.