Red Cross to charge P3,500 for Moderna shot
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) will offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to the public at P3,500 for every two doses, Sen. Richard Gordon said on Monday.
Gordon, chair and chief executive officer of the PRC, said his organization was able to buy 200,000 doses from American pharmaceutical company Moderna and that the first batch of about 1,500 doses was scheduled to arrive next month.
‘Fair thing to do’
He clarified that the PRC would not be making any money from the vaccines and the amount it would charge the public was intended to recover the cost of the organization’s payment to Moderna as well as administrative expenses such as the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), food and other assistance for its staff who will administer the jabs.
“If we count other things like electricity, ambulance, I think [charging P3,500] is the fair thing to do,” Gordon said at an online forum.
List getting longer
Earlier this month, the PRC announced a “buy 1, donate 1” campaign, which would supposedly allow volunteers to buy Moderna vaccines for themselves and pay for the vaccination of one indigent Filipino. This was scrapped after Moderna turned down the proposal, according to the senator.
Gordon said the PRC’s reservation list for those who preferred to be vaccinated with Moderna was getting longer each day and that people had to “fall in line and pay the cost” for them to get vaccinated before the government’s procured doses become available in the country.
The PRC, however, had to pay additional charges to have its first 1,500 procured doses delivered next month, Gordon said, chiding the national government’s slow procurement of vaccines.
“You have to put in money if you want the vaccine to arrive on time. We’re late because we were not able to make up our minds on what to buy, what to spend money on,” the senator stressed, referring to the long delay in the government’s decision on which vaccines to purchase.
The national government and the private sector secured a deal with Moderna last March for 20 million doses. While the first 200,000 doses are expected to arrive on June 15, there are reports of possible delays in the arrival of the vaccine shipments.
On May 5, the Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine, which can be administered only to people 18 years old and above. A person can receive the second dose after 28 days.
The US-made vaccine is one of the brands with the highest overall efficacy rates at 94 percent. INQ
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