G20 cites PH as model for vax deployment

By Lade Jean Kabagani

April 19, 2022, 4:02 pm

<p>Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity and National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. <em>(Presidential photo by Richard Madelo)</em></p>

Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity and National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (Presidential photo by Richard Madelo)

MANILA – The Group of Twenty (G20) has recognized the Philippines as an “example country” in the acceleration of Covid-19 vaccine deployment, National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday night.

Galvez reported that the group of major developed and emerging economies commended the Philippines for ramping up its vaccination efforts despite high hesitancy and low supplies at the early stages of the national immunization program.

“They acknowledged that the Philippines is an example country in the acceleration of the vaccine deployment,” Galvez told President Rodrigo Duterte in his prerecorded “Talk to the People”.

“And nakikita nila na sinasabi nila na we were able to increase the coverage, 'yung mga obstacles na nakikita natin at alam natin na marami tayong obstacles na nangyari noong magkaroon tayo ng mishap po sa Dengvaxia (They saw that we were able to increase the coverage. We had a lot of obstacles especially due to the Dengvaxia mishap),” Galvez added, referring to the dengue vaccine that reportedly caused some 620 deaths among children after its initial rollout in 2016.

The report titled “Accelerating Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment: Removing obstacles to increase coverage levels and protect those at high risk” was prepared by the World Health Organization, World Bank, Gavi, United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, and other foreign institutions and presented to G20.

Galvez said the G20 commendation is a “huge recognition” for the Philippines coming from the international community.

Nilalagay ang Pilipinas na isang ehemplo (It was put there, the Philippines was set as an example) in terms of reducing vaccine hesitancy and increasing demand for Covid-19 vaccination,” he said.

The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.

Foreign nations have likewise lauded risk communication and community engagement strategies among local government units and the tireless efforts of health care workers and other front-liners, Galvez said.

Most parts of the country are under Alert Level 1, the lowest risk classification, as Covid-19 cases continue to decline.

Only 1,571 cases or an average of 224 daily were recorded from April 12 to 18, lower than the 271 daily infections the previous week, according to the Department of Health. (PNA)