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Senate seeks vaccine doses for its health staff, employees

The Senate is seeking to obtain a share of the COVID-19 vaccines to be procured by the national government for its health staff and employees, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Saturday.

In an interview on state-run PTV’s Laging Handa briefing, Sotto said that the Senate’s medical service is preparing to send a formal request to vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

Sotto said the request of the Senate will be under a tripartite arrangement as required by the Inter-Agency Task Force.

Earlier, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri said the Senate is requesting to obtain at least 5,000 doses of the Gamaleya Institute’s Sputnik V vaccine for its 2,500 staff.

Sotto, however, said Senator Panfilo Lacson had asked if the Senate could get a share from the one million doses of procured Sinovac, which is already available and set to arrive in the country.

“Hindi po kami [ang mauuna], ‘yung mga empleyado po namin sapagkat ‘yung mga empleyado po namin kung tutuusin ay tinatawag po na frontline personnel in essential services,” the Senate president said.

[Senators will not be the first ones to get jabs, it is our employees because they are considered as frontline personnel in essential services.]

Sotto argued that the national budgets cannot be legislated without the help of the Senate's staff.

He said that the priority will still be Senate’s medical staff if the upper chamber can obtain vaccine doses. — DVM, GMA news