Duterte Wants Police, Military Helicopters to Deliver Vaccines

Local officials with slow rollout of jabs will be held accountable.
Photo/s: Aaron Favila, Pool via AFP

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said air assets of the military and police should be used to fast track the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to the provinces and speed up the country's immunization efforts.

Duterte directed security forces should coordinate with commercial airlines on vaccine transportation and delivery.

"I have ordered Secretary Galvez, the PNP, and the AFP to provide all the necessary support to our LGUs particularly in the delivery of vaccines and mobilization of resources," Duterte said in a taped address.

"'Yung mga helicopter nandiyan sa ano will take over. Sila na ang maghatid doon sa mga municipal governments," he added.

READ: For a 'Happy Christmas', Palace Targets 1.5 Million Daily COVID Vaccinations

The President also warned local government units with slow vaccine rollouts that he would hold them "accountable" but did not specify any punishment.

The Philippines has so far vaccinated some 26 million individuals against an initial target of 50 million before Christmas.

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Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. had said that booster shots for health workers and a third dose for senior citizens and those with weak immune systems could be available by Nov. 15 once guidelines become available.

The country aims to have some 77 million fully vaccinated individuals by February next year, ahead of the national elections.

READ: Booster Shots, Third Doses for Priority Groups Eyed on Nov. 15: Vaccine Czar

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