Lawmaker wants to include COVID vaccine in 2021 budget

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A lawmaker recommended the government to include the COVID-19 national vaccination plan in the proposed P4.3 trillion national budget for 2021 amid the rising coronavirus infections in the country.

BHW party-list Representative Natasha Co said in a statement that “the curve has not flattened and we seem to be not ‘winning'” the fight against COVID-19.

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As of this posting, the Philippines recorded 44,254 COVID-19 cases. Of this number, 11,942 recovered, while 1,297 died.

Meanwhile, over 11,000 COVID-19 cases, which are asymptomatic and mild, are also under home quarantine based on DOH records.

“This early, the national government must make the strategic decision of crafting a National Vaccination Plan. This plan must avoid everything that went wrong with dengue vaccination and other vaccination efforts that backfired because of wrong implementation on the ground, out in the field,” Co said.

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“The vaccine for COVID-19 must be included in the basic mandatory vaccination programs. The budget for the COVID-19 national vaccination plan must be part of the 2021 national budget,” she added.

Also read: Xi Jinping promises to make ‘friendly neighbor’ PH a ‘priority’ for COVID-19 vaccine

The Department of Science and Technology recommended that the Philippines should participate in the clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines, which the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recently approved.

Malacañang said they “expect involvement in the vaccine clinical trials by the last quarter of 2020 with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) taking a lead role.”

President Rodrigo Duterte, in his recent report to Congress, said 361 patients from 26 hospitals nationwide are participating in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) solidarity trial to find treatment for the new coronavirus disease.

The government allocated P29.99 million for the one-year project, which would involve 500 patients in the Philippines.

Duterte also said earlier the government is looking for sources to fund the purchase of the coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available for the Philippines.

“I’m looking for money too — balikan ko ulit dito kasi nag-usapan tayo ng pera na may pera ako pangbili [let’s go back to the issue of money, I have money to buy] ng vaccine just in case somebody else would beat the Moderna to the vaccine,” President Duterte said in a previous televised public.

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