The government has formed a task force to monitor the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines once they become available.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque on Friday announced that the inter-agency task force (IATF) on Covid-19 approved on Thursday the formation of the “Covid-19 Immunization Program Management Organizational Structure.”

“The Covid-19 Immunization Program Management Organizational Structure will be under the National Task Force Against Covid-19 with the Department of Health (DOH) as its lead,” Roque, who is also spokesman for the IATF, said in a statement.

Roque added that the DOH was directed to immediately convene the task force.

“[The DOH is directed] to establish such sub-task groups as may be necessary to ensure successful and efficient deployment of Covid-19 vaccine to target population,” IATF’s latest resolution read.

Senators had pushed for the appointment of a vaccine czar to supervise the acquisition, storage and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, which the government promised would be given free of charge to “the poorest 20 million Filipinos.”

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he preferred “government-to-government” transactions in procuring Covid-19 vaccines to avoid deals with private entities that could seed corruption.

Duterte said police and military officials and those who had received cash assistance from the government amid the pandemic would be prioritized in the country’s vaccination scheme. John Ezekiel J. Hirro