Cebu City puts on hold negotiations with Astrazeneca
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City is putting on hold negotiations with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine, AstraZeneca after other countries report adverse effects of the vaccine to those inoculated.
In particular, several European countries ceased their rollout of the vaccine following reports of blood clots to those vaccinated.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama relayed the decision of the City Council on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in a press conference for the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out plan.
Rama said the City Council has grown concerned of the reports in other countries and has decided to keep stop negotiations with AstraZeneca until these concerns have been addressed.
“There are certain concerns about AstraZeneca that the World Health Organization (WHO) needs to resolve,” said Rama.
In the special session on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, the councilors expressed their concerns that the city would be procuring P100,000 worth of doses from a vaccine with reported adverse effects.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) said the over 570 health workers that have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca have not reported any adverse effects after the first dose. A second dose will be administered after six to 12 weeks aft.
Still, the council believes that with the city shedding its own funds, they cannot risk the purchase of vaccines that may prove to be detrimental in the long run.
Some of the councilors, including Nestor Archival and Donaldo Hontiveros, have suggested procuring more from other brands, particularly, Covovax, which the city will start negotiating soon after Mayor Edgardo Labella has signed the term sheet.
Rama said in the press conference that negotiations with Covovax will jumpstart but the deal will be closed only after Covovax gets the approval of the Food and Drug Association.
The council will also release a resolution soon to halt the negotiations with Astrazeneca.
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