Senator Richard Gordon is seeking to train more Filipinos to administer vaccines as the Philippines looks to start rolling out its immunization plan in February as the government gears up for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.
In a statement, Gordon said that he will file a measure that will seek to train dentists, veterinarians, medical technologists, and even those without a medical background to be vaccinators, provided that it is under clinical supervision.
During the Senate deliberations on the national government’s vaccination program, Gordon questioned the Department of Health’s (DoH) capability to conduct the vaccination program with only 617,239 health care workers to participate in the campaign based on the department’s data.
Of the 617,239, 73,836 are from private health institutions, 64,998 from public health facilities, 29,000 are DOH-employed, 30,629 are hired by the local government units (LGU), 194,269 are contact tracers, 207,320 are barangay health workers, while 17,034 are social workers.
Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, meanwhile, agreed on Gordon’s proposal, which aims to help the government step up its immunization program, not only for COVID-19 but for other diseases, as well.
Philippine vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said that the government aims to vaccinate 60 to 70 percent of Filipinos in three to five years.
About 82.5 billion pesos was allocated by the government for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines this year, of which, 70 billion pesos will be sourced from foreign loans.