COVID-19

Senators back vaccine tracker: ‘Data important in mapping out moves vs virus’

Mara Cepeda
Senators back vaccine tracker: ‘Data important in mapping out moves vs virus’

VACCINATION. A healthcare worker from Cavite receives his COVID-19 vaccine.

File photo by Dennis Abrina/Rappler

'We should begin clocking our progress, or the lack of it,' says Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto

Two senators urged President Rodrigo Duterte’s government to release a daily tracker on COVID-19 vaccines, saying the data will be crucial in fighting the coronavirus.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said on Tuesday, March 16, that such a tracker can serve as a “national scoreboard” that can help gauge just how far the Philippines is in achieving its COVID-19 vaccination goal.

“Having this granular data is important in mapping out moves against the virus. It is also the database that forms the backbone of the national vaccine passport information system. We should begin clocking our progress, or the lack of it,” said Recto in a statement.

The senator said that “if possible,” this daily vaccination report should include a breakdown by region and by age group. He said the data can be incorporated into the daily tracker of the Department of Health (DOH) for COVID-19 cases.

Senator Risa Hontiveros also said that with the Philippine government loaning billions of pesos to fund its COVID-19 response programs, Filipinos deserve to know where each centavo is going.

“It is for this reason that I am urging the DOH to immediately set up a vaccine tracker to apprise everyone of the progress of our vaccination efforts,” Hontiveros said in her privilege speech during the plenary session on Monday, March 15.

“Dapat alam ng mga Pilipino kung ano, ilan, magkano, at kanino mapupunta ang mga binili at bibilhing bakuna (Filipinos should know the kind, quantity, price, and recipients of the vaccines that will be purchased),” she added.

Hontiveros explained this is why the country needs better data analytics and information management systems, so data would be accurate and immediately transmitted for the public to see.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said the government may launch its vaccine tracker by Wednesday, March 17.

The Duterte administration has received widespread criticism for its handling of the COVID-19 crisis and the slow pace of its vaccine rollout. The vaccination program officially started on March 1 and remains limited to medical frontliners.

The Philippines has so far received 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses – 600,000 Sinovac doses donated by China and 525,600 AstraZeneca shots given through the global COVAX Facility. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.