LGUs advised to buy vaccine for only 50% population–DILG exec
MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) will be advised to purchase Covid-19 vaccines that would cover 50 percent of its population to let the national government supply the rest, an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said.
In a Senate inquiry about the vaccination program on Friday, DILG Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III explained that they put a 50-percent cap on procurement of vaccines to “reallocate sources for other anti-Covid activities rather than limiting itself for the vaccines.”
But the interior department official pointed out that it is the national government’s role to procure the vaccines for the mass immunization in LGUs.
“The 50-percent cap is also again with the assumption that it’s supposed to be the national government who is supposed to procure on behalf of all local governments,” he said during the Senate hearing when asked by Senator Panfilo Lacson about the 50-percent cap.
The national government previously signed a deal with China firm’s Sinovac vaccine, which has a 50 percent efficacy rate, for the supply of 25 million doses for the country.
Carlito Galvez Jr., vaccine czar and National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer, said during the same Senate hearing that the agreement was not yet final and that the country could still back out from the agreement.
He also insisted that the China vaccine was cheaper than those created by US pharmaceutical companies despite Senate data showing that Sinovac is the second-most-expensive vaccine.
Meanwhile, some LGUs and private firms signed an agreement with UK drugmaker AstraZeneca to secure 17 million doses.
The vaccine agreement with AstraZeneca was signed by mayors, mostly in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the severe respiratory disease.
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