VP Leni: Speed up vaccination to get ahead of possible Delta variant spread
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday reiterated the need to ramp up vaccination efforts against COVID-19, amid the looming danger of the more infectious Delta variant.
VP Leni noted that the government needs to act faster to prevent the possibility of a surge in COVID cases, as seen in neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, where thousands of cases and deaths have been recorded over the past month alone. She expressed concerns that the Philippine healthcare system may not be able to handle surges of such magnitude.
“Nakakatakot ito kasi tinitingnan natin ‘yong numero ng Indonesia, ng Malaysia, ng Thailand. Para sa akin, dapat sana unahan natin ito… Kahit may cases na dito sa atin, unahan natin ng pagbabakuna. Bilisan para mas marami na iyong mabakunahan,” she said on her weekly radio show, BISErbisyong LENI, on RMN-DXZL 558.
In particular, the Vice President suggested the distribution of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to hotspot areas, especially those with recorded Delta variant cases. The Philippines late last week received the 3.2 million doses donated by the United States government through the COVAX Facility.
“Sana i-prioritize na nila ‘yong mga lugar na may na-detect na Delta variant. kasi one dose lang ito, gustong sabihin, 3.2 million na tao ‘yong mababakunahan nito,” she said. “Sana unahin ‘yong may danger na magkaroon ng maraming transmission ng Delta variant, para maunahan nila ‘yong transmission.”
VP Leni also called for support to the sequencing efforts of the Philippine Genome Center, to speed up the detection of variants among COVID cases in the country. She noted that the newly reported Delta variant cases tested positive as far back as April, given the center’s limited capacity.
The Department of Health reported last Friday the detection of 16 new Delta variant cases, including 11 who caught the virus locally in Metro Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Antique, and Pampanga. Following the announcement, VP Leni issued a reminder for the general public to observe health standards like wearing face masks, social distancing, and getting vaccinated. She likewise called on the government to intensify its efforts in order to avoid the possible spread of the variant.
- 30 -