Companies to propose donated AstraZeneca vaccines go to Metro Manila – Concepcion
Companies in the private sector will propose that their donations of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines be allocated for Metro Manila, a business leader said as he insisted that neither the government nor the vaccine maker had forced them to donate any part of their purchase of the shots.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneuship Joey Concepcion said in a text message to the Inquirer on Tuesday evening that Carlito Galvez, who is in charge of the government’s vaccination program, has given them the option to decide where their donation would go to.
Concepcion is leading the Dose of Hope initiative, a move that was started by the private sector and later joined by local government, resulting in the purchase of a total of 17 million COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca.
Out of 17 million doses, about 5 million doses were paid for by the private sector. Under the tripartite agreement for the vaccine deal, Concepcion previously said that 50 percent would go to government frontliners while the other half would go to the private sector.
“Sec. Galvez has given us the option to direct this portion of the donation which is intended for the government. We are going to propose this be donated to NCR [National Capital Region] since this is where the levels are quite high,” he told the Inquirer in a text message.
Required or voluntary?
It is not clear if the entire 50 percent, or the bulk of it would be meant for the Metro Manila.
Galvez earlier on Tuesday said in a briefing that it was AstraZeneca which demanded that the private sector donate 50 percent of its vaccine purchase to the government.
He claimed that only the AstraZeneca deal required a donation and that this requirement was not found in purchase deals involving other companies.
Concepcion, however, said the private sector’s donation was made voluntarily.
“The government never asked us to donate. Nobody required it. Considering the no profit program of Astra, which [put] the vaccine at 5 dollars [per dose], we just decided to help our medical frontliners,” Concepcion said.
In a separate statement on Tuesday, Concepcion said the government was instrumental in making it possible for the private sector to acquire vaccines for its employees and economic frontliners.
The agreement is so called because it involves the national government, the vaccine manufacturer and either a private group or a local government.
“Under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) status of all the vaccines around the world, vaccines can only be procured by the government. And so for the private sector to secure vaccines for their employees, a tripartite agreement had to be made,” Concepcion said.
“This is how the tripartite agreement model, pioneered by Go Negosyo’s ‘A Dose of Hope,’ came to be,” he said.
“Secretary Galvez trusted the private sector. It was this mutual trust between the public and the private sector that made all of these possible,” Concepcion said.
Concepcion said the tripartite agreement was crafted through the partnership between Go Negosyo and AstraZeneca, with Concepcion and Lotis Ramin, AstraZeneca’s Country President.
He also said the tripartite agreement was adopted by succeeding private sector vaccine purchases for Moderna, Novavax, and Covaxin.
WITH A REPORT FROM LEILA B. SALAVERRIA
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