Church urges faster processing of Covid-19 vaccine approval

(Anadolu photo)

MANILA – The social action arm of the Catholic Church has appealed to the government to fast track the process of selection and approval of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Fr. Antonio Labiao Jr., Caritas Philippines’ executive secretary, urged authorities “to speed up all regulatory processes so that vaccines will be available to us soonest”.

“While we agree on the list of priority sectors to be vaccinated first, it is imperative for the government to ensure that majority of the Filipinos will have access to the vaccines when it is already available for mass use,” he said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website Thursday.

On the other hand, Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo they are ready to assist the government in easing the burden of Filipinos, especially in the most marginalized communities.

“Our goal has always been to prioritize aid corresponding to the needs of the vulnerable Filipinos,” Bagaforo said.

He reported that since March, the church’s social action network has been able to provide more than PHP1 billion worth of assistance through its national partners, and Caritas Internationalis.

“We will continue to be vigilant, especially of government actions, to ensure that the rights, welfare, and dignity of the Filipino people prevail over political machinations, vested interests, and greed for power,” he added.

Bagaforo also echoed the global call to make the Covid-19 vaccine “available for all”.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Eric Domingo earlier said it is possible that Covid-19 vaccines would roll out in the country as early as March 2021.

On Dec. 2, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 121 allowing the FDA to issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Covid-19 drug and vaccine makers. (PNA)

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