November 26, 2022

President Rodrigo R. Duterte on April 26 welcomed the commitment of the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) facility to replace around 3.6 million doses of vaccines in the country that have expired.

“That’s nice of them to do that. It’s a distinct humanitarian sentiment,” Duterte said in a prerecorded public address with Cabinet officials aired on April 27.

This after Department of Health Sec. Francisco Duque III revealed the good news and assured the Philippines will not be spending a single cent for the replacement of Covid-19 jabs.

The Covax facility will replace them. We had a meeting and they have sent me a letter,” Duque told Duterte.

He said the replacement of Covid-19 vaccines will be done for both doses that have been donated and procured by the government.

The 3.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines that have expired account for 1.46 percent of the country’s vaccine inventory, Duque said.

He said this figure is below the 10 percent indicative wastage rate used by the World Health Organization.

Duterte was “happy” to learn that the expired Covid-19 jabs would be replaced for free.

Meanwhile, Duterte reminded Filipino voters to ensure compliance with minimum public health standards, especially on election day.

“When you go to the electoral precincts, kindly tell yourself that you have to remember the things that government wants you to follow, upang hindi masyado tayo mahirapan and we will prevent another surge,” he said.

He encouraged the public to trust health and medical experts such as doctors and scientists, noting that they have thoroughly studied and tested the best ways to respond to the ongoing health crisis.

Duterte said having only “a little knowledge” about measures to protect oneself against Covid-19 is “a very dangerous thing.”

The fate of national and local candidates will be decided by over 65 million Filipinos who are expected to cast their votes on May 9.

This will be the first polls that will be conducted under pandemic conditions.

As of April 26, there are 67.6 million Filipinos who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but only 13 million have received a booster shot.– PNA