MANILA – The emergency use authorization (EUA) of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines will remain valid for a year after the “state of calamity” expiration on Dec. 31, 2022.
In a media forum on Friday, Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the EUA can still be used for another 12 months.
“That’s what we’re using now as basis for us to have a continuity in this Covid-19 vaccination program,” she added.
Currently, there are 17.48 million Covid-19 jabs stored at DOH warehouses.
“Meron din po tayong isang nakasaad sa batas na kung mag-lapse ang state of calamity (Under the law, if the state of calamity lapses), the Department of Health now goes through the usual mode of procurement for vaccines,” Vergeire said.
Through Republic Act (RA) 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act, the DOH can obtain new stocks of Covid-19 vaccines when needed.
“In RA 9184, we have a provision there that we can negotiate procurement based on the law,” she said.
Vergeire said there are also offers of donation from other countries.
“We’re working on that so we can also receive within the first quarter ito pong mga bakunang kailangan po ng sektor ng ating populasyon (these vaccines needed by our population),” she added.
In March 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 929 declaring a state of calamity for a period of six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since then, the period of state of calamity has been extended.
The DOH recommended yet another extension as several of the Covid-19 response measures rely on the declaration of the state of calamity and public health emergency, including the vaccination drive.
As of Jan. 2, data showed 73,775,259 or 94.46 percent of the country’s target population (78,100,578) are already fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
A total of 21,169,446 have received booster shots as of Jan. 1. (PNA)