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Duterte signs Vaccination Program Act of 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the Vaccination Program Act of 2021 that would expedite the rollout of the country's vaccination program against COVID-19, according to a "24 Oras" report quoting Senator Bong Go.

The measure also provides for a P500-million indemnity fund for individuals who will experience adverse effects after getting the jab.

The law aims to do away with the long process of bidding for the speedy procurement of vaccines.

On February 28, some 600,000 doses of vaccines manufactured by China's Sinovac will arrive in the country.  Of this number, 100,000 doses have been allocated to Philippine military.

Presidential spokeperson Harry Roque said, "we are confident that the signing of this landmark piece of legislation would expedite the procurement and administration of vaccines for the protection against COVID-19."

"Indeed, we remain committed in our fight against the coronavirus pandemic and we are using necessary means, such as the enactment of this Republic Act, certified urgent by the President, as a way to start our vaccine rollout," he added.

Under the law the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) are authorized to undertake negotiated procurement of COVID-19 vaccines as well as the ancillary supplies and services for their storage, transport, and distribution.

The indemnity fund will be used to compensate individuals inoculated through COVID-19 vaccination program who will experience any adverse effects.

The law also allows local government units to purchase COVID-19 vaccines and ancillary supplies and services in cooperation with the DOH and NTF through multiparty agreements.

Local government units are authorized to make advance payments if required by the supplier, manufacturer, or distributor. They are also allowed to purchase vaccines and supplies for up to 75% of their target population.—LDF, GMA News