MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Tuesday urged the government to have “universal immunization” for Covid-19.
“Let us go for universal immunization. We cannot emerge out of this pandemic and recoup what we have lost if our society is divided between the Haves (may bakuna) and the Have Nots (at wala),” he said in a statement.
“‘Sana all’ should be our fighting slogan,” he added.
Recto made the suggestion as he backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to approve the advanced payments to vaccine developers.
“President Duterte’s order to the government to prepay the Covid-19 vaccines is correct. Vaccines are not COD good you can order from Lazada. They are postpaid items, but prepaid,” said the senator.
Still, Recto acknowledged the struggle and strict competition involved in securing vaccines.
“There is even an Amazing Race-kind of hunt among nations for vaccines. Officials of some of our ASEAN neighbors were reported to have jetted all over the world to scour for and secure supply contracts,” he said.
Recto also hoped that the deal with supplier AstraZeneca would push through, adding that the manufacturer offers a better deal since it matches the government’s budget. The vaccines are also appropriate for the country’s weather, he said.
“That will cut huge expenses for a cold chain, which the Pfizer vaccine would need as they have to be stored at -80 degrees Celcius (at -50 degrees, polar bears are known to freeze to death) – the infrastructure for which this tropical archipelago does not have,” he explained.
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