MANILA – The government is eyeing to roll out the vaccination for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as early as March 2021, National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Wednesday night.

China mauuna! COVID-19 vaccine rollout in PH eyed to start in March 2021

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MANILA – The government is eyeing to roll out the vaccination for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) as early as March 2021, National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Wednesday night.

“Ngayon po nakita po namin, sir, mga pinaka-earliest po ay March po. Nine-negotiate po namin sa ambassador of China (As we see sir, the earliest [roll out] would be March. We are negotiating with the ambassador of China),” Galvez told President Rodrigo Duterte in a public briefing.

Galvez said the Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac and Russia’s Gamaleya will be the first companies to deliver a bulk of government-procured Covid-19 vaccines in the first quarter of 2021.

“Kung titingnan po natin ito po ang magiging projection po natin sa potential rollout, kung magiging successful tayo po sa Sinovac at saka Gamaleya kasi initial [ano] po nila puwede sila sa first quarter (If we look at it, our projection for the potential roll-out, if we will have successful [negotiations] with Sinovac and Gamaleya because they initially target [to deliver] in the first quarter),” Galvez added.

The government, he said, will be getting 60 million doses from Sinovac, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, J&J, Gamaleya, and Novavax.

“Available po ‘yan 2021 kasi ang mangyayari po in tranches kasi po ang pagka po nagkaroon tayo ng kontrata (That will be available by 2021 because it will be procured by tranches, once we get the contracts), they will prepare ‘yung (the) manufacturing. It will take three to six months po ang (for) manufacturing po,” Galvez said.

The mini roll-out of the vaccination will be done by the first quarter, he said.

He added the bulk of vaccines are expected to arrive by May, June, and July.

Galvez said the government’s vaccine experts along with the health and technical advisory groups (HTAG) are also assessing various track records of the vaccine manufacturers.

“Sa (In the) end of the second quarter at saka (and in the) beginning of third-quarter doon po tayo magkakaroon ng mga (we could have) more or less mga siguro magkakaroon tayo ng mga 10 to 15 million na bulto po (10 to 15 million bulk of vaccines),” he said.

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea appealed to those criticizing the government’s initiatives to procure Covid-19 vaccine “to wait.”

“Gusto ko lang pong umapela, Mahal na Pangulo, sa mga bumabatikos sa—sa pag-aaral natin sa pagbibili ng vaccine. Maghintay naman po sana sila (I would like to appeal, Mr. President, those criticizing our studies to buy the vaccine. Please just wait),” Medialdea said.

He noted that Galvez’s ability to address the pandemic has been tested since the start of the health crisis.

“We started from nothing. Hindi natin alam anong kinakalaban natin (we never know what we are fighting against) but it turned out that we had good results after meeting our problems—ngayon nagingibabaw ho tayo, isa sa pinakamaganda ang ating sistema sa paglaban sa pandemic (now we are dominating, our system to fight pandemic is one of the best,” he said.

Medialdea is optimistic the vaccination rollout would be successful.

“Iyon lang ho hinihingi natin sa mga bumabatikos. Maghintay-hintay lang po at sa madaling panahon makikita niyo rin ang resulta kagaya noong nakita natin na resulta noong nilalabanan natin ang (I am asking those who are criticizing. Just wait and soon you will see the result, the same result when we fought the) pandemic with limited tools on hand,” he said.

Medialdea reiterated that the government has enough money to continue providing free tests for the marginalized sector while waiting for the Covid-19 vaccine to become available. (PNA)

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POLITIKO / Across the Nation

POLITIKO / Latest News

Dapat 18 anyos na: Bernadette Herrera renews call for passage of bill banning child marriages

By Billy Begas

Deputy Speaker Bernadette Herrera on Monday urged the House of Representatives to approve the measure banning child marriage in the country.

Herrera and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman are the authors of House Bill 1486 which is pending before the House Committee on Justice. A similar measure was approved in the Senate in November 2020.

She said HB 1486 will be referred to the House Committee on Women today (March 8) since it is among the top priorities in the women’s agenda of the legislative chamber.

Herrera said 12 million girls are married worldwide before the age they reach 18 or three girls are married off every 10 seconds.

The Philippines is ranked 12th in the world in terms of absolute number of child brides. Data from the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) reveal that one out of six Filipina girls are married before they turn 18.

“Shockingly, 2 percent or 14,520 girls were married before they turned 15 years old,” Herrera said.

She added that despite the prevalent law like the Family Code of the Philippines, which sets 18 as the legal age of marriage, there are communities practicing child marriage as part of tradition and as mandated by their own cultures and personal laws.

Under the measure, a person who causes, fixes, facilitates, or arranges a child marriage shall be considered as responsible for “acts of neglect, abuse, cruelty, or exploitation, and other conditions prejudicial to the child’s development” and shall be punished under the Special Protection of Children against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act (Republic Act 7610).

Palace appeals to health workers: ‘Wag na mag-atubili, magpabakuna na

By Prince Golez

Malacañang on Monday encouraged health workers to get themselves vaccinated against coronavirus disease (Covid-19) now that both Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines are available.

In his virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said a total of 29,266 have taken up the vaccine through the country’s vaccination program.

“Mga frontliners, ‘wag na po mag-atubili, ‘wag na mag-antay,” according to Roque.

“Magpabakuna na po dahil kayo ang aming mga sundalo laban dito sa corona vaccine na ito,” he added.

Last month, the Philippines received the initial 600,000 doses of Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac donated by the Chinese government.

Another 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines also arrived in the country from the COVAX global facility.

‘Nagkataon lang’, Calabarzon police says simultaneous raids not linked to Duterte’s remarks vs Reds

The police raids that swept across four provinces in Calabarzon on Sunday which reportedly left 9 activists dead is not connected with President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest remarks against communist rebels.

PLt. Col. Citadel Gaoiran, a spokesperson of the Calabarzon police, said this Monday as he defended what human rights group branded as a “bloodbath.”

“Nagkataon lang po na ito ay nangyari sa panahon na may statement ang ating mahal na Pangulo. Definitely, hindi po ito nangyari overnight. Ito po ay search efforts. Ito ay talaga pong vinalidate ang information bago natin inapply ang search warrant,” Gaoiran told ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.

Operations in the region yielded six casualties in Rizal, two in Batangas and one in Cavite.

In his meeting with anti-communist task force on March 5, Duterte told the military and police to ignore the human rights and” kill them (rebels) right away”.



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