Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Wednesday all remaining units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) would wait for the official rollout of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine that will be acquired by the government before they can be inoculated.
Lorenzana made the comment when asked if other AFP units would have themselves vaccinated should another donation of Covid-19 vaccines arrive anytime soon.
“Huwag muna. Kailangan sundin natin yung procedure. Tinatag natin yung FDA (Food and Drug Administration) para meron tayong procedure dyan (Not for now. We have to follow the procedures. The FDA was formed so that we have a procedure to follow) because vaccines, medicines, and food are very critical items na hindi na lang basta-basta papasok (which cannot just easily enter the country),” he said in an interview on the sidelines of the ceremony for the 124th anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal’s martyrdom in Manila.
Earlier, the Presidential Security Group (PSG) said it had some of its members inoculated with a Covid-19 vaccine reportedly donated by a private group.
Lorenzana, also the chairperson of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, said the FDA has not tested the safety of these vaccines and the veracity of their medical claims.
“Yun ang dapat (That is the right thing to do), so there is a purpose for the FDA,” he added.
Lorenzana said the PSG should explain to the FDA, as what it did was a violation of the agency’s rules.
He also said once the planned 50 million Covid-19 vaccines arrive in May, front-liners, including medical workers, would be among the first to be given shots.
“So ang hinihintay natin dito yung inaangkat ni (National Policy Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer) Secretary (Carlito) Galvez na 50 million (Covid-19) vaccines. Meron pang mga negotiations, ang sabi niya ay the earliest is May (What we are waiting for are the ones imported by Secretary Galvez. These are 50 million vaccines. Negotiations are ongoing. He said the earliest is May),” Lorenzana said.
Once these vaccines arrive, those who would be inoculated first are the ones tagged as priority.
“(The) front-liners, (the) medical workers para safe naman sila sa trabaho nila (so they would be safe while they perform their work),” he added. PNA.GOV.PH