Former Vice President Jejomar Binay urged the national government on Thursday to immediately use expiring COVID-19 vaccines.
Binay was referring to the 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses which are scheduled to expire on June 30. The doses were part of the recent shipment of 2 million doses from the World Health Organization-led COVAX global facility which arrived in the Philippines on May 8.
“Para hindi masayang ang bakuna, maaring gawin ng national government ang mga sumusunod (For the vaccines to not go to waste, the national government can do the following):
1) House-to-house vaccination tulad ng ginagawa ng ilang LGUs. Dalhin ang bakuna sa mga mamamayan, lalo na ang mga seniors, may sakit, at may kapansanan (House-to-house vaccination like what the LGUs (local government units) are doing. Bring the vaccines to the people, especially the seniors and persons with comorbidities).
2) Give vaccines to the private sector, as has been suggested. Let them vaccinate their employees.
3) Let LGUs and private sector buy vaccines directly, without the need to go through the national government. Remove the red tape that is delaying the vaccination of the general population, especially the economic frontliners.
Binay added that the national government should act quickly regarding this matter and improve the country’s average vaccination rate of 62,654 daily.