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ABANTE : GIVE FRONTLINERS, SENIORS BOOSTER SHOTS

With government storage facilities now full of vaccines, Deputy Speaker Benny Abante Jr. is urging the The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to direct local government units (LGUs) to begin administering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to medical frontliners and senior citizens if demand for vaccines has slowed down.

According to the representative from Manila, the measure is necessary so that vaccines “do not gather dust and are idle in government storage facilities when they can be used to protect vulnerable sectors.”

Abante pointed out that vulnerable individuals such as senior citizens should also be provided with booster shots as they are more likely to develop complications if they get infected despite being vaccinated.

“At the same time, as we see with the numerous breakthrough COVID-19 cases––infections of fully vaccinated individuals, especially among doctors, nurses, and frontliners––there is a real need to provide additional protection for those who are constantly exposed to the virus.”

National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer NTF Sec. Carlito Galvez recently reported that there are currently more than 36 million COVID-19 vaccine doses in national warehouses that are scheduled for deployment across the country.

Galvez lamented, however, that “the challenge now is throughput, administration and demand.”

This is why Galvez called on all LGUs, including the Department of the Interior and Local Government, mayors, governors, military and police “to make vaccination efficient.”

Abante pointed out that vulnerable individuals such as senior citizens should also be provided with booster shots as they are more likely to develop complications if they get infected despite being vaccinated.

“While the government is still finding ways to improve the roll out of vaccines and to address vaccine hesitancy, they should use the vaccines they have on hand for those who need them––and want them,” said the legislator.

“Used is better than useless; what we want to avoid is a situation wherein thousands or not millions of vaccines can no longer be deployed because they are kept beyond their expiration dates.”

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