In what he described as a testament to the enduring friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and China, Senator Bong Go hailed the arrival of the country’s first vaccines from Sinovac Sunday, saying it should jumpstart the government’s vaccination program.
In his column “GOing Forward,” Go expressed gratitude to Beijing for the 600,000 doses of the vaccine generously donated by its neighbor. The jabs will be able to accommodate 300,000 individuals who will receive the vaccines based on the list provided by the National Immunization Technical Advisory Groups.
“Indeed, this development is a testament to the enduring friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and China during these difficult times,” he added. “We are very grateful for this generous gesture.”
Go said the government will continue to work hard to acquire more vaccines.
“I am pleased to say that the arrival of the first batch will finally jumpstart the vaccination program of our government. We want this to be done in a timely and orderly manner,” he added.
The former presidential assistant pointed to President Duterte’s independent foreign policy as a favorable factor in nurturing relations with many countries and multi-lateral organizations resulting in closer working partnerships in defeating the pandemic.
The government is looking forward to procuring more vaccines produced by other countries including 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca which was supposed to arrive today but will have to be rescheduled next week.
“Yes, this is just the beginning. We recognize the need to do more. We need to accelerate the vaccination program in a safe, sure and secure manner,” he said.
For his part, Go said that as a senator, he will continue to support and champion legislation to ensure as much as possible that “our people will be able to receive safe and effective vaccines, based on the rollout program.”
He cited President Duterte’s signing of the Covid-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021, which the senator also co-authored and co-sponsored.
“The law will expedite the vaccine procurement process, empower LGUs (local government units) to secure vaccines for their constituents, and create an indemnity fund in case of possible adverse effects of the vaccines, which is a requirement of vaccine manufacturers,” he explained.
Go then cited the importance of a whole-of-nation approach in fighting the pandemic.
“All branches of government, all sectors in society, and all our partners in the international community must work together and cooperate to fortify our response,” he said.
“While we work hard to secure vaccines, we also remain committed to helping struggling Filipinos and unburdening them from the challenges caused by the pandemic and other crisis situations,” he added.