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Zimbabwe, Bangladesh: Though Poor Nations are Ahead of the Philippines in COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Duterte admitted that he, himself has no idea when the vaccines would arrive in the country. 

While other poorer countries such as Bangladesh, Zimbabwe are among others, have already inoculated many of their citizens against COVID-19. The Philippines is yet to start its vaccination program. Filipinos are left asking what the government has planned for the people and why it is slacking behind in vaccination.

Zimbabwe, one of the worst places to raise a family due to harsh living conditions, is surprisingly ahead of the Philippines in rolling out a vaccination program. Though poor economically, it has utilized China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

The first 200,000 doses were for health workers. Zimbabwe’s Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga was [also] praised after he took a shot.

Also serving as the country’s health minister, Chiwenga said that Zimbabwe is beating COVID-19.

“The marked decline in new cases of coronavirus is vividly marking the end of the second wave of the pandemic. Despite the decline, the government of Zimbabwe adopted a second line to augment preventive measures to combat COVID-19. The second layer of defense is the procurement and rollout of COVID-19 vaccines,” he said. “My ministry conducted all scientific processes to ascertain the efficacy of Sinopharm vaccine, which was confirmed to be 79 percent. My presence here today, with some ministry of health officials — to exhibit the government confidence in the Sinopharm vaccine.” he added.

Zimbabwe is aiming to vaccinate around 10 million people and has a goal of achieving herd immunity.

Bangladesh is doing even better on over 1.5 million of its people are already vaccinated against the deadly disease.

Meanwhile, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippine government seemed to have regressed to rolling out a vaccination program.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr was on record saying that vaccines would arrive mid-February, but people are still waiting.

Pfizer gave the Philippines a chance to secure vaccines in June 2020. It took until October for the ‘key document’ to be signed.

Government officials accused Health Secretary Francisco Duque III of dropping the ball on the vaccine deal that would’ve had around 10 million doses arrive in the country in January.

As reported on News5 TV at a recent meeting with his officials–Duterte admitted he has no idea about the vaccines’ arrival.

He previously said why there is an insufficient supply of vaccines–that the rich countries secured doses first.

“The problem is that rich countries bought all the supplies. There’s a scramble [for vaccines] now,” he said.

To date, the virus has infected over 559,000 people. While over 12,000 have succumbed to the virus.

Written by JO-EST B. TAN

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