"It is time to win the war against COVID-19."
Inoculating the entire Filipino population is not by any means an easy task. One has to plan and organize people to do the job. Identifying the logistics requirements to carry out the vaccination task is another thing.
The most crucial factor in the vaccine rollout, of course, is the speed by which we want to accomplish the objective. How soon can we establish a herd immunity to finally and effectively contain the virus infection should be guiding factor of the vaccine program.
Building herd immunity quickly by region should be the main task of vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. The herd immunity will reduce the COVID-19 spread as the non-immune people will have lesser chances of getting infected by those who have already received the jabs.
From the looks of it, local government units and the private sector on its own will spearhead the vaccine drive. The two sectors have the resources, or money, to implement the vaccine rollout. LGUs in the early stages of the pandemic were relatively successful in distributing food packs or relief goods to the needy and to those who were displaced by COVID-19.
The private sector, meanwhile, has the wherewithal to fund the inoculation starting with their workers. It will be in the interest of big private companies to initiate the vaccine drive. Inoculation holds the key to fully reopening the economy.
As to the choice of vaccines, LGUs and the private sector have the freedom to select which dose is apt for their respective constituents and employees. The vaccines of US-based Pfizer and Moderna require expensive cold storage, which urban centers like Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao can afford. On the other hand, China’s Sinovac, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Novavax do not require ultra-cold storage.
Distributing the vaccine to the majority of the population as soon as possible is, indeed, a big challenge to the government of President Rodrigo Duterte. He must mobilize the entire government machinery, including the military, in the campaign to ensure the success of the program. It is time to win the war against COVID-19.