MANILA – Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday appealed to two international organizations to remind wealthy nations to stop hoarding Covid-19 vaccines to boost global supply, especially for the poor countries.
In a televised Palace press briefing, Duque called on the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure a more equitable distribution of the vaccines, as rich countries buy more doses than they need, which could hamper supply needed by the poorer ones.
"Ako po ay nananawagan sa United Nations, sa World Health Organization na pakiusapan ang mga mayayamang bansa na sa kasalukuyan ay pinag-uusapan na nila iyong booster dose or the third dose (I call on the United Nations, the World Health Organization to appeal to the rich countries that are now talking about the booster dose or the third dose.," Duque said.
Duque said he believes hoarding is "not right" considering that a huge percent of the world's population has not yet received vaccination.
"So, kung mangyari lang po na makinig naman sila sa sentimyento ng ating low to middle income countries na kulang na kulang pa rin ang mga bakuna. Mababa pa ang ating coverage kaya tayo po ay nakikiusap (So, if only they would listen to the sentiment of the low- to middle-income countries where there is still a shortage of vaccines. Our coverage is still low so we are begging),” he said.
He said he would formally write a letter to the UN and WHO to "remind the rich countries not to forget about the poorer ones".
"Many peoples of the world still don’t have even have the first vaccine," he said.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reported that around 12 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the Philippines.
Roque still encouraged the public to get vaccinated and continue observing health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Tara na po magpabakuna at magkaroon ng dagdag na protection ito ay sa gitna na report na may panibagong variant ang Lambda variant unang na-detect sa Peru na kumakalat ngayon (Let's get vaccinated and have extra protection amid a report that there is a new variant, the Lambda variant first detected in Peru, that is spreading now)," Roque said. (PNA)