Panelo backs use of technology for faster vaccination

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Saturday expressed support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for local government units (LGUs) to use technology and advanced approaches to speed up the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccination in the country.

During his commentary show Counterpoint, Panelo said the use of technology would help prevent inoculation sites from becoming a super spreader venue for Covid-19.

Ang dahilan nun ay para maiwasan ninyo ‘yung pagdating ng mga tao na dagsa pagkatapos magkukumpul-kumpulan sila doon. Mawawalan na naman kayo ng control. At diyan magsisimula ang mga hawaan o transmission (The call was made to ensure people would not endure long lines and not flock to the vaccination sites. If that happens, you would not be able to control it and it would lead to transmission of the virus),” he said.

In a public address delivered on Monday night, Duterte encouraged LGUs to use technology and advanced strategies to make the Covid-19 vaccination process “more effective.”

He made the appeal, as he warned that more people might catch Covid-19 if they queue for too long to avail of the jabs.

Duterte suggested that local officials, especially those at the barangay level, could give people cards with numbers and their assigned time so that the people would only need to go to the vaccination site a few minutes before their schedule.

Panelo agreed with Duterte, saying long queues would expose people to the coronavirus.

Kaya gamitin niyo ‘yung technology, ‘yung advanced process niyo para mapaiksi niyo ang proseso at maging epektibo ang bakunahan (That’s why they should use technology and advanced processes to shorten the process and make the vaccination effective),” he said.

The Philippine government’s goal is to vaccinate up to 70 million Filipinos within 2021 to achieve population protection.

On Wednesday, National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. expressed confidence that the government’s population protection target is still achievable by yearend.

With the steady arrival of Covid-19 vaccines, the Philippines can increase its daily vaccination rate to 500,000 jabs in the third quarter to 700,000 shots in the fourth quarter of 2021, Galvez said.

As of June 2, a total of 5,328,172 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide.

About 4,088,422 have received the first dose, while 1,293,750 have completed the second dose. (PNA)

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