Odette destruction, upcoming polls behind vaccination slowdown — Galvez

Following a World Bank report highlighting the Philippines' sluggish immunization rate, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez admitted on Saturday that

1/22/2022 3:29:00 PM

Following a World Bank report highlighting the Philippines' sluggish immunization rate, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez admitted on Saturday that 'external factors' have dampened the government's COVID-19 vaccination efforts

Following a World Bank report highlighting the Philippines' sluggish immunization rate, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez admitted on Saturday that

Galvez said while the Philippine government remains committed to inoculating all Filipinos against the coronavirus, the onslaught of Typhoon Odette and the upcoming polls have"limited our ability to maximize" partnerships with different sectors.

More than a month after the deadly typhoon left Philippine territory, Galvez said several regions continue to suffer from its devastating impact."The typhoon struck six regions in the country, all of which were starting to ramp up their vaccination throughput. However, LGUs were forced to temporarily suspend their vaccination rollout in order to respond to the immediate needs of their constituents such as food, medicine, and shelters," he said in a statement.

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"external factors" have dampened the government's COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Galvez said while the Philippine government remains committed to inoculating all Filipinos against the coronavirus, the onslaught of Typhoon Odette and the upcoming polls have"limited our ability to maximize" partnerships with different sectors. More than a month after the deadly typhoon left Philippine territory, Galvez said several regions continue to suffer from its devastating impact. "The typhoon struck six regions in the country, all of which were starting to ramp up their vaccination throughput. However, LGUs were forced to temporarily suspend their vaccination rollout in order to respond to the immediate needs of their constituents such as food, medicine, and shelters," he said in a statement. Government officials seeking a win in this year's elections are also affecting the nationwide vaccination drive, Galvez added. He claimed the general elections have been"diverting the attention" of some local leaders. "It is our hope that our local leaders will have the will to temporarily set aside their personal interests and first ensure the health and protection of their constituents, especially now that the country is experiencing another major surge," he said. "Likewise, our LGUs whose localities are situated in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) must also contend with the constant threat of the Communist Terrorist Group. The CTG has been a major cause of concern among our LGUs whose inoculation efforts have been largely affected whenever there is an attack on communities," Galvez added. Galvez defended the Philippine government's efforts, stressing that it has been facing logistical challenges given the country's unique geographical landscape. The World Bank report released earlier this week also stated that the sudden spike in cases may also be attributed to the increased mobility during the holiday season. The vaccine czar reiterated the government's frequent response that there should be a balance between public health and the economy. "The country's business sector could no longer be held hostage by the health crisis, and therefore the need to further open up the economy, while putting in place all the necessary health and safety precautions," he said. Galvez said the government has further boosted its COVID-19 vaccination drive — teaming up with major drug store chains to launch the"Resbakuna sa Botika." He expressed optimism the government can fully vaccinate 77 million Filipinos"within this quarter" and provide booster shorts to over 72 million.   Latest from this section