The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) called on all its committees and New People’s Army (NPA) units to carry out an information campaign to raise the people’s awareness of vaccines. The drive is in line with the health campaign to prevent the spread of Covid-19 infections.
The CPP last Sunday urged the Filipino people to get Covid-19 vaccination, noting that many are unwilling to be vaccinated resulting from the Dengvaxia scare some years ago. The CPP said that it is in the greater interest of public health and fighting the pandemic that as many people be vaccinated.
Scientific information on vaccines, as well as findings of regulatory bodies concerning the efficacy and safety of the Covid-19 vaccines being developed, are publicly available, which the CPP suggested could be the basis for the people’s decision on being inoculated.
The CPP also clarified that the information drive should include raising awareness on the crucial responsibility of the state to provide the people with free vaccines to ensure that a large majority of the population are immunized from Covid-19. The people should raise the demand for free vaccines to all, urged the CPP.
The Duterte government earmarked only 2.7% of the required ₱72 billion to vaccinate at least 60% of Filipinos, revealing it has no comprehensive plans to lead a major vaccination program. This puts to doubt the supposed plan by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to inoculate 20 million Filipinos, or merely 19% of the population. The target, low as it is, would already cost ₱20 billion for a single dose. Also, at least two of the targetted vaccine brands have yet to conduct clinical trials.
Without a clear plan for a nationwide vaccination, local government units and private companies are compelled to acquire vaccines on their own. This leaves less endowed government units to fend for themselves, underscoring the great divide between the haves and have nots over the issue of Covid-19 vaccination, commented the CPP.
Meanwhile, millions of vaccines have already been rolled out for free by governments across the world. Even less advanced countries have developed their vaccines and are set to be distributed for free. The CPP laments that the Philippine government has done nothing to help raise the country’s capability to do research and develop vaccines.
The National Democratic Front in Bicol and Southern Tagalog joined in condemning the Duterte government’s negligence in securing free Covid-19 vaccination for all, the corruption-ridden deals in the acquisition of vaccines, and the unauthorized and secret inoculation of Duterte’s security group using smuggled vaccines.