DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 Feb) – Mayor Sara Duterte revealed that the city government has procured 30,000 doses of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines from the British firm AstraZeneca that will arrive in the city in tranches starting third quarter of this year.
The local chief executive announced this as the country has yet to start its own COVID-19 vaccination program.
She said the local government opted to secure its own supply of COVID-19 vaccines in case the national government fails to deliver on its commitment to make the vaccines available for all.
She said the initial doses of AZD1222, the vaccine jointly developed by the British firm with Oxford University, can benefit 15,000 individuals.
Duterte added that they will procure additional vaccines developed by US-based Novavax Inc. and Serum Institute of India after receiving an information that the local government units in the country can now place orders with 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.
Dr. Ashley Lopez, City Health Office (CHO) acting head, said the city prioritizes 16,677 health workers, 77,189 senior citizens, 432,549 indigents, and 5,258 security personnel for the vaccine rollout.
The local government here targets to vaccinate around 1.2 million people to achieve herd immunity.
Lopez said the preparation of the list in the case of health care facilities was taken care of by the City Health Office, senior citizens by Office for Senior Citizens Affairs, indigents by the City Social Welfare and Development Office, and uniformed personnel by the police, military, and Bureau of Fire Protection.
As of February 22, DOH-Davao Region reported 85 new cases, bringing the total cases to 19,521, with 1,604 active, 17,098 recoveries, and 819 deaths in the region.
Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 12,795 cases, with 768 active, 11,405 recoveries, and 622 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,107 cases, Davao del Norte with 2,880, Davao del Sur with 1,307, Davao Occidental with 211, and Davao Oriental with 1,221. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)