‘Super slow? Not really’: Duque defends gov’t’s vaccine deployment

Published May 13, 2021, 1:50 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Thursday, May 13, defended the status of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine deployment in the country – noting that concerned agencies are just following the proper processes and procedures.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (FILE PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

“Di naman po mabagal, ginagawa po natin ayon sa proseso – tamang proseso (“It’s not slow, we’re doing it according to the process – the right process,” Duque said on the sidelines of a symbolic vaccination at Makati Medical Center on Thursday, May 13.

Duque issued this response after Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on May 11 expressed dismay over the “super slow” deployment of vaccines to local government units (LGUs).

The Health Chief explained that there are processes that need to be observed before vaccines against COVID-19 are deployed to the local level and used for the inoculation of recipients.

“Halimbawa sa Sinovac, we need COA [Certificate of Analysis]. Di pwedeng basta-basta magtuturok lang ng mga bakuna na walang malinaw na authorization (For example in Sinovac, we need COA [Certificate of Analysis]. Vaccines cannot be injected lightly without clear authorization),” Duque said.

In the cases of Sinovac, Duque said that the COA serves as a “proof that the vaccine is safe and effective.” Meanwhile, Duque also clarified that the DOH is also coordinating with the concerned agencies on the establishment of the vaccination site in Nayong Pilipino.

“We are ready to sign the MOA [Memorandum of Agreement] to convert the Nayong Pilipino site into a major, huge vaccination site,” Duque said in a mix of English and Filipino – noting that he is among the “primary signatories” in the said agreement.