President Rodrigo Duterte ordered vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to shuffle the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to different areas to prevent people from choosing vaccine brands.
“If COVID-19 vaccines are not effective, there would have been significantly more deaths,” the President said in his late Tuesday night taped public address.
“I told Secretary Galvez to shuffle the boxes of vaccines. Throw a box there, So, when it arrives, mix it,” Duterte said.
He also warned government personnel against “favoritism” over some brands.
Many Filipinos prefer Western-made vaccines like those from Moderna and Pfizer, but Duterte said “all COVID-19 shots were developed in the laboratories with people who are really well-equipped medically to do their job.”
“I said, do not choose. Now, someone does not want to deliver other brands. What he or she wants is Pfizer or Moderna. I’m telling you if vaccines like Sinovac and Sinopharm are not effective, many people should have died,” Duterte said.
Duterte urged the public anew to get vaccinated, stressing that achieving population protection is the only solution to the prevailing health crisis.
In related developments:
* The Philippine government currently administers 70,000 to 90,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses for the general adult population daily, the National Vaccines Operation Center said Wednesday. “Around 70,000 to 90,000 vaccines are administered) on a daily basis,” NVOC representative Dr. Kezia Rosario said during the Laging Handa briefing.
* A total of 3,416 children with comorbidities have been vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Tuesday, the DOH said Wednesday. The government began the inoculation of children aged 12 to 17 with health risks last Friday in eight hospitals. It will expand to 13 more hospitals later this week, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya earlier said.