Senate employees to get COVID-19 jabs soon, Sotto says

Published April 17, 2021, 8:31 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Senate will begin the inoculations of its employees soon after the COVID-19 vaccines it purchased arrive, its leader, Senate President Vicente Sotto III, said on Saturday, April 17.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Sotto said National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. has given the greenlight for the Upper Chamber’s purchase of the 5,000 doses of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute.

“Pinayagan na nila kami — kailangan may tripartite agreement, ‘di ba — doon sa i-import, sa binibili ng Senado (They allowed us — since we need a tripartite agreement — to import and purchase the vaccines),” Sotto said over radio DWIZ.

“Tinanong namin delivery, ang sabi either this month or next month (We asked when the delivery will be, we were told it could be this month or next month),” he disclosed, saying the vaccinations would start “immediately” once delivered.

Sotto expressed hope that they would be able to inoculate the some 2,000 employees of the Senate before sessions resume on May 17.

The Senate, he said, has already prepared the storage for the vaccines.
Sotto maintained that the vaccines that they have procured would be for the chamber’s personnel and not the senators. He said Senate employees should be considered as frontliners, too.

“Balewala lahat ng mga batas na ‘yan, ‘yang mga ayuda, balewala ang lahat ng Bayanihan kung wala kaming inaaksyunan. Pati ‘yong kikilusin ng executive department ‘pag dating sa pera, ‘pag hindi kumilos ang Kongreso at Senado…wala lahat yan (All those laws, those aid, and the Bayanihan laws will not be enacted if we did not act on it. Even the needs of the executive department when it comes to funds will not exist if Congress or the Senate does not act),” Sotto said.

Last March, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an emergency use authorization for Sputnik V.