It was a proud moment for Filipinos to realize that in a time of adversity, the nation casts aside differences to work for the common good.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. revealed during President Rodrigo Duterte’s weekly report to the nation that the supply of more than 110 million doses of the vaccine has been ensured this year through the initiatives of both government and the private sector.
In the private sector, Galvez mentioned particularly global port services kingpin Enrique K. Razon as deploying all resources and influence to obtain Moderna vaccines.
The teamwork between government and private firms is not only vital but a matter of life and death for many as the more contagious strain of the coronavirus disease has been reported to have arrived in the country.
It would be a race against the spread of the new variant which if not contained will overrun hospitals and cripple the health service system.
Galvez also cited different big business names as putting in huge contributions in the access to the vaccines and the provision of logistics for the mass immunization program.
Some of the vaccines need deep-freezing facilities which Galvez said the government would have enough of as pharmaceutical firms have committed to making available their facilities.
The facilities should include vehicles to move the vaccines immediately to prevent these from being affected by the tropical heat.
The volume of committed vaccines made the President declare that all 110 million-plus Filipinos will be inoculated.
Meeting the commitment of the President would need the government to secure more orders since an individual would need two shots for the medication to have its full effect.
A more realizable target is 60 million Filipinos securing vaccine shots to achieve herd immunity or a level at which the contagion dies a natural death due to its inability to spread.
If the timeframe of Galvez on the arrival of vaccines is met, the nation will have a good chance of averting a catastrophe from the mutant virus.
Sera developed by United States drugmaker Pfizer, China’s Sinovac, and the United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca will be the first to arrive in the Philippines allowing the first shots to be administered sometime next month.
In more developed nations, the rollout of the vaccines had started with a similar aim of heading off devastation from the evolved virus.
Some 70 million doses have been secured mostly through negotiations with other governments.
Another 20 million will be made available before the middle of this year through the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO’s initiative guarantees access to poor nations for at least 20 percent of the population.
Some P82.5 billion has been generated to bankroll the immunization program including the cost of a seamless supply chain. Galvez said the military’s network will be employed in the jabs’ distribution.
Funds allocated should be enough but it is only the private sector, which is not burdened by bureaucratic red tape in decision-making, that has the capability to immediately use resources.
The phrase Private-Public Partnership has not been more relevant than at this time when the welfare of the entire nation is under a serious threat.