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Vaccines and accessibility

In a recent Go Negosyo town hall meeting, founder Joey Concepcion hoped that the Filipino public could have easier access to vaccines in the future by allowing its purchase from hospitals, clinics and drugstores.

He cited the situation in the United States of America, where the vaccination process is very easy and casual as the latest bivalent COVVID-19 vaccines are readily available to the public in drugstores.

Concepcion said that in the US, it is done not only for COVID-19 vaccines, but also for vaccines against other diseases like shingles, pneumonia and flu.

“So eventually that’s what we want to do in the Philippines. We want the big, the large hospitals, bigger clinics and even the drugstores eventually to implement this,” he said.

He added there should be eventual transition from the government buying the vaccine to having the public buying it themselves, as the country moves to a more manageable COVID situation.

“I don’t think the government has the resources to keep funding all these vaccines because as you can see, our debt levels have gone up to you know an all-time high… specially with interest rates going up the government will be paying more – that will be an additional cost,” Concepcion said.

He had earlier proposed that private hospitals be deputized by the government to procure and administer the bivalent vaccines against COVID-19 that are supposed to provide broader and better protection, especially against the Omicron variant.

The reasoning is that private hospitals are capable of handling vaccinations and can explore agreements with the government as part of the private sector.

As the vaccination effort will have to continue in order to see the end of the pandemic, and even as humanity emerges from it, access will be key. If government cannot give it away for free indefinitely, then arrangements and partnerships have to be made so those who need it and want it can avail of the protection the latest vaccines provide with the least cost and inconvenience.*

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December 2022
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