MANILA – Expressing deep concern about the prospect of vaccines expiring in June, Senator Richard Gordon, speaking as chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross, aired his appeal to the government to take immediate measures to fast-track Covid-19 vaccination.
Noting that about 1.5 million AstraZeneca doses are expiring in June, Gordon said the government must simplify the procedure of vaccination to encourage more people to get vaccinated.
While he understands the DOH’s protocol of subjecting vaccinees to prescreening to preclude any possible side effects, he said such protocols may be relaxed and encouraged the government to just provide post-vaccination care.
Gordon mentioned that this system has been widely used in the United States that enabled them to vaccinate millions of Americans in record time. Those getting vaccines do not spend long waiting hours and are just given a hotline or a number which they can call should they experience some serious side effects.
He said the Philippine Red Cross has chapters all over the country that can mobilize volunteers to vaccinate as many people as they can and all they need are the vaccine supplies.
“To avoid letting the vaccines expire, the government can immediately deliver the vaccines to the PRC and allow its volunteer doctors and nurses to administer the vaccines quickly and safely. As we struggle to meet our vaccination targets amidst the scarcity of supply, it would be criminal negligence to let so many doses go to waste,” the senator said.
“The Philippine Red Cross as an auxiliary to the government on humanitarian services is also a partner of the government under the Bayanihan Act and should be tapped by the government to help speed up Covid-19 vaccination,” he added. (PR)