UNICEF: Vaccines will lead us back to normalcy

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With the coronavirus on the rise and stronger strains emerging, Filipinos are being asked to participate actively in the government’s vaccine efforts.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines’ chief of health and nutrition, Malalay Ahmadzai, said the organization recognizes the Philippine government’s efforts to obtain vaccines for population protection.

“It is very important for Filipinos to skip being hesitant because these are safe, and the only way we can go back to normal is when everybody is safe,” Ahmadzai said in an interview on Thursday night at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City during the reception ceremony for 188,370 Pfizer vaccine doses.

In a prior statement, Ahmadzai stated that immunization is everyone’s responsibility.

“We have a historic opportunity to both end this pandemic and set out a pathway for the eradication of preventable disease among children and adolescents. But this requires a collective effort to community with vaccines and health services, continue taking key preventative measures, and have confidence in the life-saving power of vaccines,”

she said.

The latest batch of the US-made vaccine, according to Assistant Secretary Wilben Mayor of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, would be distributed to localities that have not previously received the Pfizer shots.

“We can train these areas, towns that have not received Pfizer vaccines before. This September and October, we have a lot of Pfizer vaccines coming in. When the bulk of these will come, these recipient areas are already trained on how to properly store and administer these,”

Assistant Secretary Wilben said.

Carlito Galvez Jr., chief secretary of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, told a television channel on Thursday that negotiations with four booster shot makers had begun.

He stated that the vaccinations would be given to the A1 priority category, which consists of medical front-liners and health-care employees.

“We are waiting for the recommendation and evaluation of the NITAG (National Immunization Technical Advisory Group) as well as from the World Health Organization on the need for booster shots in the country,”

Galvez said.
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