‘Bicol lacks COVID-19 vaccines’: Robredo hopes for more supply

Published June 28, 2021, 11:15 AM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo lamented the lack supply of coronavirus vaccines in Bicol region even at a time her home province saw surges in COVID-19 cases.

Vice President Leni Robredo (Geric Cruz/Bloomberg)

Robredo, a leader of the opposition, said she hoped the cities and provinces in Bicol will be given more vaccines against the deadly virus.

“Kulang na kulang iyong supply, na tumutulong na nga ako na mabigyan sila ng mas marami kasi may spike din eh, may spike din iyong number of cases (The supply is really lacking, that I’m already helping to give them more vaccines because of the spike in cases),” she said over dzXL Sunday, June 27.

In Naga City, the vice president cited her hometown only received the other day 1,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, which are not enough.

“The vaccine supply is less given the need. I hope we have more supply, so we have more people to be vaccinated. It will be faster,” Robredo said in Filipino.

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) is extending a hand to the Bicol region in response to the pandemic since it is considered an “area of concern” for lack of health facilities.

READ: COVID-19 surge prompts Robredo to bring programs to Bicol

The cities of Naga and Legazpi are among the 10 additional highly urbanized cities that will be prioritized for vaccine distribution due to surge in COVID-19 infections.

The others are Bacolod City, Iloilo City, Cagayan De Oro City, General Santos City, Tuguegarao City, Baguio City, and Zamboanga City.

For Robredo, the vaccine supply is a “bigger problem” than the public hesitancy to get inoculated against COVID-19.

“Walang supply ng bakuna—mayroon namang supply, pero hindi enough (There is no supply of vaccines—there is supply, but it is not enough),” she said.

READ: Gov’t adds 10 cities in vaccine priority list

As of Monday, June 28, more than 17 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have already arrived in the Philippines, the latest of which include the shipments of one million Sinovac vaccines and almost 250,000 doses of Moderna from the United States.

For the Philippines to achieve herd immunity, which is when the majority of the population becomes immune to the virus, it has to inoculate more than 70 million Filipinos.

The minimum population protection, which the government hopes to achieve by December this year, should be at 40 to 50 million vaccines administered.