Amid the celebration of the World Immunization Week this last week of April, Senator Win Gatchalian continues his push to strengthen local vaccine development through the creation of the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines.
Gatchalian made his proposal in Senate Bill No. 941 or the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines (VIP) Act of 2022. The proposed measure seeks to create the VIP to serve as the premier research and development institute in the field of virology, encompassing all areas in viruses and viral diseases in plants, animals, and humans.
“Nakita natin noong kasagsagan ng pandemya ng COVID-19 na mahalaga ang pagiging handa, lalo na sa pagpapalawig ng ating kakayahan sa pag-aaral ng iba’t ibang virus at viral diseases. Kung magkakaroon tayo ng Virology and Vaccine Institute, matitiyak natin na mas handa tayo at mas mapapadali ang pagtuklas sa mga bakuna at masugpo ang mga sakit,” said Gatchalian.
This bill will provide for a pool of highly trained local virology experts and appropriate facilities which can enable researchers to rapidly conduct studies on any virus and guide authorities in implementing evidence-informed response strategies.
The VIP will also undertake scientific and technological research and development (R&D) in the field of virology and develop an information system on virology science and technology for the use of both public and private sectors.
The VIP’s research outputs shall be integrated with plans for the management of public health emergencies relating to infectious disease, as well as other plans relating to disease control and prevention.
Likewise, it will be mandated to establish strategic partnerships with the world’s leading scientists, virology centers and institutes, and conduct innovative and pioneering research that will advance the frontiers of virology in the country.