Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has called on concerned government agencies to make sure that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine that will be utilized in the country is safe and effective even as he warned against rushing its development.
In a radio interview, the senator – who is also the Senate Committee on Health chairman – stressed that proper development process must be followed before using a vaccine and once it is certified safe and effective for use, the poor and vulnerable sectors must be prioritized so they can immediately resume their lives normally.
Go also warned against rushing the production and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine as the country does not need another controversy sparking amid the pandemic and noted that there is already an ongoing collaboration between multinational drug companies and Philippine authorities regarding the conduct of clinical trials and access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
The lawmaker also urged the Department of Science and Technology — the lead agency in charge of the COVID-19 clinical trials — to ensure that the process is expedited but still in accordance with the applicable scientific standards.
Previously, Go said that the government had already set aside funds for the purchase and development of the COVID-19 vaccine and is looking to secure additional funding to expand the immunization program.
Until then, the senator encouraged the public to continue adhering to the health and safety protocols, such as wearing masks and face shields, observing social distancing, and frequent hand washing, among others, to prevent the further spread of the virus.