Vergeire to lead Covid-19 vax operations—DOH

Published June 22, 2022, 5:42 PM

by Analou de Vera


Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire will soon lead the National Covid-19 Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC), the state health agency announced on Wednesday, June 22.

In a statement, the DOH said that Health Secretary Francisco Duque III “has designated” Vergeire as the “succeeding Incident Manager” of NVOC.

“As a senior career executive in government service, Usec. Vergeire will be taking over the able leadership of Usec. Myrna C. Cabotaje who will be finishing her term on June 30, 2022,” the DOH said.

“This succession is meant to avoid gaps in implementation of the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination program, as the new administration transitions in. The Department, including Usec. Vergeire will welcome the guidance and decisions of the incoming administration as regards the leadership of NVOC,” it added.

In a press briefing, Vergeire expressed her gratitude to Cabotaje, adding that she has big shoes to fill.

“Gusto po natin pasalamatan si (I just want to thank) Usec. Myrna, under of course the leadership of Secretary Duque, sa lahat ng kanyang (for all her) efforts and excellent way of leading our national vaccine operations center, wherein we were able to achieve 70 plus million of Filipino population had been vaccinated,” said Vergeire.

“‘Yan po ay napakalaking feat para sundan pero kami po ay (That is a huge feat to follow but we are) committed to continue on with the work here in the DOH, dito sa (and here at the) national vaccine operations center,” she added.

‘Retiring again’

In a text message, Cabotaje said that she would be “retiring again” after her stint as health undersecretary and head of NVOC.

She said that she previously retired as DOH director in 2018. She was 65 then.

Cabotaje said that Duque “brought me back to DOH” in February 2019 as undersecretary “to help him with the then measles and polio outbreaks.”

“I will be 69 [years old] in Dec[ember]. Rest muna. Thanks for all your support and understanding,” she said.