President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday proposed to use the country’s near-expiry Covid-19 vaccine doses in a house-to-house vaccination drive.

“Kung may mga Pilipino pa na hindi nakapagbakuna o ayaw
magpabakuna, e hindi naman kasalanan ng gobyerno na magbili tayo commensurate to the number of Filipinos that would be vaccinated sana,” he said in a “Talk to the People” address.

“So itong mga bakuna mag-expire either ibigay natin ito sa mga countries na wala pa or siguraduhin natin na—we’ll embark on a program last minute na mag-house-to-house na lang sa mga barangay,” he added.

The president also called on the New People’s Army (NPA) to not harm health workers who would go to far-flung areas for the house-to-house vaccination.

“Kayong mga NPA, huwag ninyong barahin ‘yung mga tao na aakyat diyan especially the health workers. Sa totoo lang on grounds of humanity, e kung gusto ninyo magpabakuna, ipasali ko kayo pero do not derail the program. That’s what I’m trying to tell you,” he said.

Duterte’s adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion earlier said 27 million doses would expire in July.

Concepcion has made the proposal to require booster shots by June to utilize the vaccine jabs in stock and potentially fight new Covid-19 variants that might emerge.

The government aims to fully vaccinate 100 percent of the country’s target population by June. John Ezekiel J. Hirro