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DTI to tally vaccine orders from SMEs

In the wake of a growing demand from the private sector to acquire the Covid-19 vaccines, the Department of Trade and Industry would consolidate the orders from small and medium enterprises that would like to procure these vaccines.

In a Laging Handa briefing, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said National Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer and vaccine czar, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., has requested the agency to consolidate the vaccine orders from small businesses.

“We are talking to different groups, those who have the intention to have an allocation and also buy the vaccine, to consolidate, combine the requirements and volumes to be included in the order of Secretary Galvez with the vaccine manufacturers,” Lopez said in mixed English and Filipino.

He assured that even small-scale businesses will have the access to the Covid-19 vaccines.

On Thursday, more than 300 companies have signed a deal with pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca to secure Covid-19 vaccines for donation.

This is under the A Dose of Hope initiative led by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

The recently signed agreement, which is also joined by local government units, will procure 17 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccines.

In November last year, the private sector donated 2.6 million doses of vaccines.

Meanwhile, Lopez reminded Filipinos to continue adhering to minimum health protocols despite the rollout of the vaccine program this year.

“Our health protocol is really our first defense,” he said in Filipino. “This is why we are able to gradually reopen the economy amid the pandemic.”

He added that the government eyes to further lift some restrictions in economic activities such as allowing individuals 10 years old and above to go outside to revive family activities.

He said that even with the reopening of economic activities last year, consumer activities remain low as there are still age groups that are not allowed to go outside their houses.*PNA

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