Cebu City ‘not in haste’ for vaccines
FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a vial labeled with a “Vaccine COVID-19” sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
CEBU CITY, Philippines — COVID-19 vaccines for Cebu City residents may still remain a dream as the city government is yet to identify its choice of a vaccine.
This despite the Food and Drug Administration already giving Pfizer and AstraZeneca an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
Vice Mayor Michael Rama, the vaccine convenor of the city, along with members of the vaccine board, held a preliminary press conference for the vaccination plans of the city.
“On February 3, 2021, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the City of Cebu passed and approved Resolution No. 15-1297-2021 creating a Convenor Body composed of the Members from the City Council and the Executive Department.”
“Its role is to come up with a plan of action pertaining to the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination program of the Cebu City, which shall include, among others, gathering of information, converging ideas, analyzing data, strategic planning, dissemination, overseeing, supervision and continuing evaluation, in the implementation of the said program,” said Rama.
Yet the vice mayor and the vaccine board could not reveal the timeline for the plans of the vaccination procurement with city funds and the roll-out of these vaccines.
Rama said there is no need to make haste because the planning for the vaccination is delicate and needs time.
Even so, the city government is said to have completed initial negotiations with AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, and Sinovac, but pending the decision of Mayor Edgardo Labella and the City Council.
City Administrator Floro Casas, Jr., said that the mayor has instructed them to be more careful in the procurement of the vaccines and consider the logistical aspects of it aside from the price.
“We are willing but we are not eager to buy vaccines,” said Casas.
The city is still waiting for the national allotment of vaccines before buying its own so that there will be no overstocking, Casas said.
Rama revealed that the barangays have expressed support to any vaccine approved by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), but also wanted to be informed of all the city government’s decisions.
The vice mayor assured the public will be informed every step of the way from the procurement to the distribution.
By now, malls, schools, and establishments have committed to becoming vaccination sites, but only 10 sites will be set up as inoculation centers. /rcg
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