2 more Rizal towns sign deal with AstraZeneca
SAN PEDRO CITY –– Two more urban local governments in Rizal province sealed a deal with British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for the possible purchase of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.
The municipalities of Cainta and Taytay disclosed on Thursday that they recently signed a “confidentiality agreement” with the drug company.
But Taytay Mayor George Ricardo “Joric” Gacula, on Thursday, said he was constrained by the confidentiality clause to discuss its details, including the number of doses.
Cainta Mayor Johnielle Keith Nieto, in a Facebook post, said that aside from the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, he was also talking with an unnamed Chinese drug company “to ensure an adequate supply” to cover 310,000 people in his city.
Gacula said the agreement, which is more like placing a reservation or an advance order with the company for when the vaccines become available in the Philippines, was signed last week.
Gacula, who is also the vice president of the League of Municipalities (LCM)-Rizal, said at least four more towns in the province are likely to sign a similar deal with AstraZeneca in the days to come.
On Sunday, Jan. 10, Antipolo City, the capital of Rizal, signed a P300-million vaccine deal with AstraZeneca but did not disclose the number of doses that was going to be a part of the deal.
Gacula said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told LCM-Rizal last week that there would be enough vaccine supply for the entire Philippine population.
“But as they say: better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have,” Gacula said in a phone interview on Thursday.
Gacula said Taytay could allocate as much as P300 million from its internal revenue allotment and calamity fund, while Nieto said Cainta could raise as much as P150 million for the vaccines.
Both mayors did not also disclose the number of doses for their purchase deals.
But Nieto said there would be enough AstraZeneca doses “for at least half of the population” or about 150,000 people, in his town.
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