DOH: Only national gov’t can buy COVID-19 vaccines

IMAGE | Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire/Screengrab, DOH media forum

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) has reminded local government units that are now actively announcing their plan to distribute free COVID-19 vaccines to their community.

This is the agency’s reaction after a series of announcements by Metro Manila mayors that they have allocated funds for their respective vaccine supplies.

“Yung emergency use authorization (EUA) na ibibigay ng Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dito sa mga manufacturers ng bakuna, ang pwede pa lang bumili niyan ay national government lang,” said Health Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Nagiging available lang sa market ang isang produkto kapag mayroon na siyang certificate of product registration (CPR), at hindi pa mabibigyan ang mga bakunang ito ng CPR kasi hindi pa naman effectively or technically tapos yung kanilang clinical trials,” the official added.

On Monday, the local governments of Makati, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Valenzuela, and Navotas announced that they would be giving away free coronavirus vaccines to their residents.

The town of Pateros, and the cities of Muntinlupa, Malabon, Taguig, and San Juan also announced.

Manila and Paranaque first announced their initiatives.

“Ang LGUs, hinihikayat ng national government to work with us because we can pool the funds and can procure; and we can have an effective distribution system, ito yung ating kinakausap natin ngayon sa mga LGU so that we can have unified effort at hindi magkaroon ng technicalities and also we can be able to monitor as well,” said Vergeire.

The Health spokesperson stressed that the DOH is still implementing the National Immunization Program so they hope that local governments will work together when it comes to vaccination.

“We can assure the LGUs that based on the priority list with you all on our list, try to work (us) with so that we can have a more effective vaccination deployment implementation.”

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