PH 'lucky' to vaccinate 2-3 million citizens by year-end: senator

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2021 10:33 AM | Updated as of Mar 23 2021 10:57 AM

PH 'lucky' to vaccinate 2-3 million citizens by year-end: senator 1
Health workers inoculate their fellow health workers with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Ospital ng Maynila on March 09, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippines will not reach its goal of vaccinating 70 million citizens by end of the year, Senator Imee Marcos said Tuesday as she called on health experts to lead the country's pandemic response.

Government, which began its vaccination drive earlier this month, aims to inoculate 50 million to 70 million citizens by December 31 to achieve herd immunity, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez earlier said.

"Pag binalangkas at sinuri mong mabuti ang sinasabi niya swerte na tayo sa 2-3 million by the end of the year," Marcos told ANC's Headstart.

(If you look at the numbers cited by Secretary Galvez, we'll be lucky to inoculate 2-3 million by the end of the year.)

"No vaccine still even healthworkers are estimating it’ll take them somewhere between 20-44 years bago matapos ang (before we finish) vaccination and we accomplish herd immunity."

The vaccines have yet to arrive due to a shortage worldwide but it does not help to block industries from assisting in the country's immunization program, Marcos said.

"How can you operate when the huge donors are all blocked. They’ve been trying to import since October and November...we could have had the vaccines so much sooner," she said.

"The solution is not to block them but establish safeguards.
Wag pagbawalan. Kailangan natin mabuhay."

Marcos also described as "catastrophic" the NCR+ or the bubble composed of Metro Manila Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.

"Papalit-palit lang ng pangalan (It just changes names), effectively this is a lockdown, everyone knows that," she said.

"This is catastrophic for an already dying economy. We have to be much more mindful of that fact. Joblessness has spiraled, everything has skyrocketed, and food supply is very tangential."

Marcos, backed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, had sought the abolition of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 to be replaced by medical experts to address the pandemic "scientifically."

"Why don’t we go back and establish a core group that is really qualified for policy(making) and thereafter start consulting the LGUs who 'yun pala ibabagsak din pala sa kanila ang trabaho para sa implementation. And the private sector can we please bring them on since they're apparently going to carry the baby and do the most donating," she said.

(Why don’t we go back and establish a core group that is really qualified for policymaking and thereafter start consulting the LGUs who will shoulder the implementation of these policies.)

"We've been through 1 year of all these types of lockdowns. At the end of the day they are completely and utterly useless, if not accompanied by thorough testing, serious contact tracing, and finally asan na 'yung bakuna (where are the vaccines). Vaccinations please."

The Philippines on Monday tallied another record-high number of new COVID-19 infections at 8,019, bringing the country's total cases to 671,792.

The country could reach 10,000 daily new cases by the end of the month, half likely to be recorded in the capital region, if the current daily trend continues, independent research group OCTA earlier said.

Several hospitals in Metro Manila have declared full capacity. They are are projected to reach full capacity by Holy Week if government fails to slow down COVID-19 transmission, OCTA added.

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