Who gets coronavirus vaccine first? Philippines needs 'foresight', says governor

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2020 10:49 AM | Updated as of Jul 30 2020 11:00 AM

MANILA — The Philippine government should have "foresight” on how it will administer to 110 million Filipinos the coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available, a governor said Thursday. 

Authorities "should be ready to respond" to questions on how it will administer 220 million shots of the vaccine, with each person requiring 2 shots of the drug, said Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla. 

"How do we do it without creating the least amount of panic and hysteria? Who gets it FIRST and how do people get it quickly enough?" he said on Facebook. 

The government should also apply to the vaccine distribution the lessons it learned from the release of cash aid to the most vulnerable families, which was marred by reports of health protocol violations in some areas, he said. 

Quoting Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero, Remulla said, ”We should expect more from the Government.”

"If our hands are full in the containment strategy, then our best minds should have the FORESIGHT and prepare for the arrival of the vaccine," he said. 

Cavite, the most populous province in the Calabarzon region, will implement an ID system in preparation for the vaccine distribution. The province will also open 3 coronavirus testing laboratories, he said.

"The good news is we are now crafting a proactive and viable plan for Cavite. Now, let us all come together and create a plan for the country," said Remulla. 

The Philippines has confirmed 85,486 cases of COVID-19, of which 56,528 are active. 

Cavite, which lies south of the capital, is home to some 3.7 million people, according to 2015 data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.