Pres'l adviser: Vax slowdown possible during election season

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 7) — The country's presidential adviser for COVID-19 response admitted Monday that the government is preparing for a potential "slowdown" in vaccination in localities, just a day before the campaign period for national candidates starts.

Vince Dizon, also the National Task Force Deputy Chief Implementer against COVID-19, was asked in an interview with CNN Philippines' The Source whether vaccination efforts will be hampered this election season.

"I hope not. But we are preparing for a potential slowdown in vaccination efforts since most of these are in the LGU level," Dizon said.

He noted that the government intends to decentralize vaccination by authorizing more clinics, pharmacies, and even other private sector facilities like gas stations and toll booths to "unburden" local governments during poll season.

"This is something we have to do in order to bring the vaccines closer and also to unburden our LGUs in line with the upcoming elections," he said.

Dizon said the government already knows how to handle the situation if another COVID-19 surge occurs in the coming months. This includes efforts to do granular lockdowns, implement restrictions, and ensure health protocols.

Comelec has listed specific restrictions on election activities including in-person campaigns, meetings, and other election-related activities depending on the alert level in an area.

Activities with physical contact are strictly prohibited regardless of alert level.

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