DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 Feb) – Davao City Health Office (CHO) acting head Dr. Ashley Lopez revealed on Wednesday that the local government may also receive a supply of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines manufactured by the US-based Novavax Inc. and Serum Institute of India.
In his program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Lopez said that no less than Secretary Carlito G. Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, told him during the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (C.O.D.E.) Team visit at the A. Mabini Elementary School in Barangay Talomo here last February 16 that the country will receive a supply of the Novavax vaccines.
“I can remember Sec. Galvez telling me that Novavax is a good vaccine and that there is a supply coming. Probably, if the national government will avail of the Novavax, it will be one of the vaccines that we will receive as allocation for the local government units,” he said.
Lopez said the decision whether the city will procure its own supply of Novavax vaccines is left to Mayor Sara Duterte.
Last Monday, Duterte said the national government had given LGUs the green light to place orders for Novavax vaccines and, as such, the local government is complying with the documents needed to procure a certain dose from the vaccine manufacturer.
“We are starting our documentation right now to buy a certain number of doses of Novavax. We’re buying these vaccines just in case the national government will not fulfill its commitment that there will be vaccines for all because there’s nothing on paper yet with regard to the number of doses that they can give to the LGUs,” she said.
Galvez earlier assured that the city will receive an equitable share of the vaccines from the national government. According to him, 5.2 to 9.3 million doses from AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BionTech that is expected to arrive in the country sometime this month or maybe March from the COVAX facility, and from the 1.5 to 1.6 million doses from Sinovac of China and Sputnik V of Gamaleya Research Institute of Russia also in February and March.
Galvez added that the country has cornered 17 million doses of vaccines from AstraZeneca, of which 11 million doses will be procured by the local government units and six million by the private sector. The country’s Food and Drug Administration has granted the application for emergency use authorization of Pfizer-BionTech, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac.
Lopez said the local government of Davao is eyeing to bring down the new daily COVID-19 cases in the city to single-digit growth after health authorities here have seen a decreasing number of confirmed cases starting February 3, which marked the end of the post-holiday surge.
“The single-digit target is possible. That is very possible with the help of everyone, not only health workers, national government, local government, but all of us, including private sector, our communities, barangays, and individuals. They would contribute to our efforts to maintain the decreasing trend in Davao City by adhering to the laws, and minimum public health standards,” he said.
As of February 23, DOH-Davao Region reported 68 new cases, bringing the total cases to 19,589, with 1,589 active, 17,175 recoveries, and 825 deaths in the region.
Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 12,832 cases, with 748 active, 11,458 recoveries, and 626 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,117 cases, Davao del Norte with 2,898, Davao del Sur with 1,309, Davao Occidental with 211, and Davao Oriental with 1,222. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)