Robredo eyes COVID-19 ‘vaccine cab’ rollout when supplies are ready

Published May 10, 2021, 2:36 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo is exploring to turn her Swab Cab project into a “vaccine cab” that will go around communities to vaccinate people who cannot register online for the vaccination program in their areas.

The vice president said her office is always willing to help the government roll out its vaccination program in a bid to achieve herd immunity status by December.

VP Leni Robredo (Geric Cruz/Bloomberg)

“Ako nga, iniisip ko na kung marami lang na available na vaccines, iyong Swab Cab namin ikoconvert namin siya na parang vaccine cab, para iyong—alam mo iyon, iyong mga taong hindi nakakaregister online, mapuntahan (For me, I’m thinking if there’s a lot of available vaccines, we can convert our Swab Cab into a vaccine cab for—you know, for those who cannot register online, we can go to them),” she shared over dzXL.

But she doesn’t know if this will be possible since she has yet to check if there’s enough vaccine supply to administer. Currently, there are 7.5 million vaccine doses available from China’s Sinovac, Russia’s Sputnik V, and the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca. A batch of 193,000 doses from Pfizer-BioNTech is due to arrive today, May 10.

“Pero kami (But is), very much willing to help sa (in the) rollout ng (of) vaccines,” the lady official added.

Her focus is not only on those who can register online. Instead, the vice president wants to reach those who do not have the capacity for online registrations such as market vendors and workers in jeep and bus terminals.

“Ito iyong (These are the) vulnerable aside from health workers, saka (and) aside from seniors,” Robredo said.

But for this to be possible, local government units (LGUs) have to work with her office. This is the same requirement the Office of the Vice President (OVP) required from LGUs that reached out to them for the Swab Cab free mobile antigen testing.

For the Swab Cab initiative, the LGU has to do the groundwork of finding at-risk people—both symptomatic and asymptomatic—and providing the isolation facility.

Robredo emphasized the need to make the vaccine rollout program more efficient, noting that some LGUs have done a good job of administering the vaccine.

“Ako, ieemphasize ko pa din na sana mas proactive, sana mas proactive iyong pagbabakuna (Me, I’m still going to emphasize that hopefully, it can be more proactive, more proactive in the vaccination),” she said.

According to the vaccine rollout statistics released by the Department of Health (DOH) on May 4, the country is vaccinating an average of 36,491 individuals a day. To reach herd immunity by December, this has to go up to 300,000 per day.