PH Red Cross says 'ready to help' gov't COVID-19 vaccination program

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 13 2021 10:48 AM | Updated as of Jan 13 2021 11:40 AM

A pharmacy manager prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, US on Dec. 16, 2020. Craig F. Walker, Pool/Reuters

MANILA - The Philippine Red Cross will help the government in its vaccination effort against COVID-19, PRC chairman Sen. Richard Gordon said Wednesday.

The government has a "woeful" record in immunization with its inoculation programs for children averaging 60 percent, according to Gordon.

"The Red Cross vaccinates for measles. We help the government and we’re ready to help again. If I don’t get the job I will tell you, Red Cross will help the government in the vaccination effort," he told ANC's Headstart.

"If we’re asked, and definitely we’re going to be asked...Secretary (Carlito) Galvez and Secretary (Vince) Dizon, even Secretary (Francisco) Duque, we have pretty good rapport. It’s only PhilHealth we’re having problems with. We’re ready to vaccinate. We’re ready to help."

The Red Cross vaccinated 1 million of the country's population last year and it may recruit volunteers to increase vaccination effort, Gordon said.

"A lot of people are excited to volunteer because they want to get rid of COVID fast," he said.

Government should inoculate frontliners and workers first in areas with high-prevalence of the coronavirus such as Metro Manila and nearby areas, according to the senator.

"When you start vaccinating, you have to vaccinate the right people first. If you get Metro Manila sick it’s gonna spread easily to the other provinces," he said.

The public should also be informed about the COVID-19 vaccine they will receive, Gordon added.

Malacañang had earlier said Filipinos cannot choose the brand of COVID-19 vaccine that they will get from the national government.

"Personally and under ideal conditions I think they have to choose their vaccine. You cannot impose something. When you have a lot of questions, it causes a lot of problems. If we can explain to to the public very well, they will be allowed to have informed consent," he said.

"That’s what happened to Dengvaxia. There was no informed consent hardly."

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