By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Senator Richard Gordon, who also chairs the Philippine Red Cross, said the Covid-19 vaccine may not be available until the middle of 2021.
Gordon, who visited Negros Occidental recently, believes the vaccine may be ready in the country by June of 2021 at the earliest.
“I don’t agree that they’ll be available [this year],” Gordon said.
To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat Covid-19. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.
Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials.
In the meantime, according to Gordon, the government should already start preparing the necessary funds for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
He likewise advised Negros Occidental’s Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer and local chief executives in the province to make sure the population strictly follows health protocols to cut spread of the viral infection.
Gordon also encouraged the public not to be afraid getting tested.
Last week, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Covid-19 vaccine may be available before the end of this year.
Currently nine experimental vaccines are in the pipeline of WHO’s COVAX global vaccine facility that aims to distribute two billion doses by the end of 2021./DGB, WDJ