President Duterte ordered the distribution of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses to the indigent population.
President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the distribution of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses to the indigent population in the Philippines.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in his regular press briefing that the said vaccine doses should be distributed not in shopping malls but in poor communities with “low vaccine take-up” in a bid to boost their protection against the coronavirus disease.
According to Roque, this was part of President Duterte’s initial directive that Filipinos should be inoculated for free.
“Ipinag-utos ng Pangulo na ibigay ang Pfizer sa mahihirap o sa indigent population dahil ‘yan ang patakaran ng COVAX. Dagdag ng Presidente na ilagay ang Pfizer hindi sa mga malls kung hindi sa vaccination sites ng mga barangays kung saan mababa ang take-up ng vaccines. Ito ay ayon na ring sa unang direktiba ng Pangulo na mababakunahan ang Pilipino ng libre. Walang maiiwan,” Roque said.
The latest directive was issued to vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. after President Duterte expressed concern that social distancing protocol was violated during the long lines of the populace waiting to receive the said vaccine in some local government units.
President Duterte had appealed to the public not to be choosy in the vaccine brands and assured that COVID-19 vaccines were all effective and safe.
It was in early May when the Philippines received over 190,000 Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine doses under the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility.
The Philippine government had ordered more Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses in a bid to boost the country’s vaccine supply.