MANILA –Health Secretary Francisco Duque III urged the two international organizations on Tuesday to advise wealthy nations to cease hoarding Covid-19 vaccines in order to increase global availability, particularly for impoverished countries.
Duque asked the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in a televised press conference, to promote a more balanced distribution of vaccines, as wealthy countries purchase more doses than they require, potentially limiting availability to poorer countries.
“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 believes hoarding is “not right,” given that a large percentage of the world’s population has yet to get 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 stated that he would formally write a letter to the UN and WHO in order 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.
Moreover, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque claimed that around 12 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been distributed in the Philippines.
Roque urged the people to be vaccinated and to maintain following health regulations in order to prevent the virus from spreading.
“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.