No forcing of Sinovac vaccine for Cebu City residents

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | January 13,2021 - 03:16 PM

A doctor shows the box of a COVID-19 vaccine produced by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech at the Sao Lucas Hospital, in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil on August 08, 2020. (Photo by SILVIO AVILA / AFP)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City residents will not be forced to be inoculated with the China-made Sinovac vaccine.

This was the assurance of Mayor Edgardo Labella who said that although vaccines will be allotted for the city as promised by vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., the residents cannot be forced to be inoculated if it is against their will.

The city government will still accept the vaccines, which will be distributed by February 2021, and distribute them to the priority sectors such as healthcare workers, police, market, transportation, and others.

However, if the beneficiary will choose not to avail of it and is willing to wait for other brands that are expected to arrive later this year, they will be allowed to.

The dose will instead be given to others especially to those who are in need.

“If they choose other vaccines, then they will have to endure. We will not force anyone. They will have a choice,” said the mayor.

The city government has allotted P500 million for the vaccines but has not secured an order in any of the brands already available from Europe and the United States of America (USA).

Labella is waiting for the official approval of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) before making an order.

Furthermore, the mayor said he wants a vaccine that people would be comfortable with.

Still, if the Sinovac vaccine should arrive in the city, he is willing to be innoculated to encourage the residents to avail of the free vaccines.

“If I have to be vaccinated first just to show it is safe, I will,” he said.

The city has already formed a vaccine board led by City Health Officer Jeffrey Ybones to study the best brand to be purchased by the city government.

One of the possible brands is Pfizer since Cebu City has the facilities to store the vaccines. AstraZeneca is also another close choice.

The board will also formulate a plan for the Sinovac vaccine distributions when the vaccines arrive in the city next month.

Labella revealed that Galvez has formed a national vaccine board that will coordinate with the local ones for efficient distribution of the vaccine.

Cebu City, in particular, is targetting to innoculate 70 percent of its population to achieve herd immunity. /rcg

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