Is a face mask-free 2021 finally winking at us?
Malacanang said we have enough money to cover the cost of 65 million vaccines, so the question is: when is mass vaccination going to be rolled out?
According to presidential spox Harry Roque, a total of P72.5 billion from the P4.5-trillion 2021 national budget is enough to cover the cost of vaccination for majority of our population. In a press briefing Thursday, Dec. 10, he said in Filipino: “I think the amount is enough. Under the DOF scheme, the P72 billion will not come (wholly) from the national appropriations which we initially need for the vaccination of 60 million Filipinos.”
We can also take out loans from multilateral lending agencies like the (Asian Development Bank) and World Bank, and even vaccine-manufacturing countries “at minimal interest” in case that’s still not enough, the Palace official added.
If you’re thinking that vaccination would mean the scuttling of current health protocols, sorry to break it to you, but recent studies say otherwise. The studies say those vaccinated should still wear masks for the sake of those who remain unvaccinated.
In the United Kingdom, a Filipino nurse just gave the world’s first approved COVID-19 vaccination to a 90-year old-woman.
Which brings us to the question of how soon that process would translate locally, given the government’s less than satisfactory response to the pandemic.
Hopefully, officials would come up with a solid plan to expedite the process of getting and administering the vaccine as we enter 2021. Home may be where the heart is, but who’d want to stay indoors for practically another year, right?
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Art by Yel Sayo