Church urges faster processing of Covid-19 vaccine approval

National, News

Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the country’s Catholic Church has urged the government to fast track the selection and approval process for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Fr. Antonio Labiao Jr., Caritas Philippines’ executive secretary, urged authorities “to speed up all regulatory processes so that vaccines will be available to us soonest”.

“While we agree on the list of priority sectors to be vaccinated first, it is imperative for the government to ensure that majority of the Filipinos will have access to the vaccines when it is already available for mass use,” he said in a post on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website recently.

Caritas Philippines national director Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo, for his part, said they are ready to assist the government in easing the burden of Filipinos, especially in the most marginalized communities.

“Our goal has always been to prioritize aid corresponding to the needs of the vulnerable Filipinos,” Bagaforo said, adding that since March, their social action network has been able to provide more than P1-billion worth of help to them through its national partners, and Caritas Internationalis.

“We will continue to be vigilant, especially of government actions, to ensure that the rights, welfare, and dignity of the Filipino people prevail over political machinations, vested interests, and greed for power,” he added.

Bagaforo also voiced the popular call to make the Covid-19 vaccine available to all.

President Duterte signed Executive Order No. 121 last December 2 allowing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Covid-19 drug and vaccine makers.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo projects the Covid-19 vaccines roll out in the country by early March 2021.

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