The World Health Organization (WHO) warned the Philippines on Thursday that it could have its vaccine supply rescinded if it fails to follow the prioritization list for Covid-19 vaccine shots.
“If we want to ensure that we continue to access the vaccines from Covax facility, we need to demonstrate that we can follow prioritization and we can offer protection to the most vulnerable,” WHO country representative Rabindra Abeyasinghe said in a media briefing.
“If we don’t demonstrate that, unfortunately, the Covax may have to consider other options where the impact of the vaccines will be more useful and practical and will contribute to saving more lives,” he added.
Covax is a global initiative coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the WHO.
It is a platform that supports the research, development and manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccine candidates. Covax seeks to provide countries worldwide equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, once they are licensed and approved.
Abeyasinghe said vaccines from the facility should be given to health workers, the elderly and people with co-morbidities.
Palace spokesman Harry Roque admitted that there have been “breaches” in the country’s vaccine rollout.
“Hindi po tayo perfect sa pagpapatupad nitong protocol, nagkaroon tayo ng kakaunting breaches pero we have learned from the breaches and not everyone knows medical frontliners muna,” he said in a Palace briefing.
“Mabibilang mo naman sa isang kamay iyong mga exceptions so far and I think as we proceed with our vaccination program, malinaw na talagang medical frontliners lang ang ating prayoridad and I think that’s very clear now to everyone both those in government and outside of government,” he added.
The country is expecting 44 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Covax.
Some 5.1 million vaccine doses from various manufacturers are expected to arrive in the first quarter of the year. John Ezekiel J. Hirro