Rep. Abellanosa concerned about Cebu City’s lack of vaccine deal
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City South District Representative Rodrigo “Bebot” Abellanosa is concerned about the lack of a vaccine deal for the city’s residents even though majority of the highly urbanized cities in the country has struck a deal with Astrazeneca.
The congressman noted that this delay in getting a deal for the city residents might leave them out of the chance for the vaccine early and the city might have to wait for later stocks instead.
He said the suffering of the residents could be relieved only if the city could successfully implement the vaccine program, which he said would be the only way to fully reopen the economy.
“For almost a year now, Cebu City constituents have suffered so much from the harsh effects of the longest quarantine in an LGU throughout the Philippines, the recurring lockdowns, the agony of losing their loved ones and jobs, the lukewarm assistance from the LGU (local government unit),” said the congressman.
Abellanosa, on his Facebook page, has expressed his concern that unlike other cities in Metro Manila and in the Visayas, Cebu City is left with no guarantee of vaccine stocks from preferred brands such as Astrazeneca or Pfizer.
“It is clear in the past days that the Cebu City government, as gleaned from the pronouncements of the Mayor and the Vice Mayor, is paying more attention to holding Sinulog instead of procuring COVID-19 vaccines. Cebu City Mayor is still waiting for the ‘go-signal’ of the vaccine czar WHILE the other cities such as Caloocan, Valenzuela, and Iloilo have already signed agreements with AstraZeneca to buy COVID-19 vaccines,” he added.
Read: Cebu City ‘waiting for Galvez’s go-signal’ before vaccine purchase
He urged the city government especially Mayor Edgardo Labella to secure the needed vaccines for the city residents before the city would lose the chance for it.
The congressman also urged the mayor to no longer wait for Secretary Carlito Galves Jr., the vaccine czar, and prioritize getting stocks of a trusted vaccine that people might want to be innoculated with.
For the congressman, another day of waiting may be another life lost.
Read: FDA grants emergency use authorization for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
In previous statements, Mayor Labella said that while he was also waiting for Secretary Galvez’s go signal for a tripartite agreement, what he was truly waiting for was the approval of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).
Labella formed the vaccine board to create a vaccination program plan and set the priority sectors for the vaccines as well as decide the best brand of vaccine to procure.
Read: Labella: Most mayors want freedom to choose vaccine brand
The city government has been eyeing Pfizer, Astrazeneca, and Moderna as the primary choices and so far, Pfizer was the only vaccine yet among the three that was granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
Labella said that the city would have to follow the tripartite mandate of the national government to ensure the safety and quality of the vaccine the city would procure.
As for funds, the city government has allotted P400 million for the vaccines from the 2021 annual budget and another P100 million will be allotted through a supplemental budget. /dbs
Read: Cebu City plans to tap med, nursing studes for inoculation program
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