DILG exec: Local gov’ts advised to purchase COVID vaccines for 50% population

 By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Yahoo News

An official from Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) said Friday the local governments will be advised to procure COVID-19 vaccines for 50% of population to let the national government augment another percentage of supplies.

In a Senate investigation for government’s vaccination plan, Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III explained they put 50-percent cap of vaccine purchase to “reallocate sources for other anti-Covid activities rather than limiting itself for the vaccines.”

However, he pointed out it is the national government’s role to provide vaccines for mass inoculation.

“The 50-percent cap is also again with the assumption that it’s supposed to be the national government who is supposed to procure on behalf of all local governments,” Densing said during the Senate hearing when asked by Senator Panfilo Lacson about the 50-percent cap.

The government earlier signed a deal with Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac to secure 25 million vaccine doses.

Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. further said the agreement was not yet finalized and that the country could still back out with the deal.

He also insisted that the China vaccine was cheaper than those created by US pharmaceutical companies despite Senate data showing that Sinovac is the second-most-expensive vaccine.

Meanwhile, some LGUs and private firms signed an agreement with UK drugmaker AstraZeneca to secure 17 million doses. 

The vaccine agreement with AstraZeneca was signed by mayors, mostly in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the severe respiratory disease.

RELATED ARTICLE: Philippine Daily Inquirer

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