Gov’t promises assistance to the poor when COVID vaccine is available

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Malacañang assured the public that the government would provide free vaccines to the disadvantaged, once a cure for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is available. 

“Well, alam niyo po siguro, ang mangyayari diyan, those who can afford ay magba-bayad, those who cannot afford, gobyerno ang magba-bayad,” Roque said in an interview.

[Well, perhaps, those who can afford the vaccine that will be developed have to shoulder the cost, while the government will pay for the vaccination of those who cannot afford it.]

He added that individuals who will be covered by free vaccines could avail of assistance from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

Kapag mga bakuna, mga diagnostic, sagot din po iyan ng PhilHealth. Pupwedeng ma-cover naman iyan ng PhilHealth,” Roque said.

[PhilHealth will shoulder expenses for vaccines and diagnostics. That can be covered by PhilHealth.]

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this after President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his intent to immediately purchase a vaccine for Covid-19, as soon as it is developed.

Duterte, in a televised address late Tuesday night, expressed optimism that a vaccine for Covid-19 would be available by early 2021.

The President expressed such hope as he acknowledged that clinical trials for an experimental vaccine being developed by the United States’ biotech firm Moderna, Inc. were showing “positive” results.

Roque reiterated that the government is ready to implement an immunization plan once a Covid-19 vaccine is developed.

Meron na po tayong nabuong plano kung paano talaga i-implement ang vaccination as soon as it (Covid-19 crisis) is over. We’re praying po na unang-una, magkaroon na ng bakuna, at pangalawa, we’re praying na mabibigay natin sa lahat,” he added.

[We have come up with a concrete plan as to how we will implement the vaccination program as soon as the crisis is over. We’re praying that first and foremost, we will have a vaccine, and second, we’re praying that all can avail of it.]