Astrazeneca commits to supply Davao City with COVID vaccines

Published January 8, 2021, 7:28 PM

by Antonio Colina IV

DAVAO CITY – Vaccine-maker Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals (Philippines), Inc. has committed to deliver an initial batch of its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines to the city government of Davao by the third quarter of this year, Mayor Sara Duterte said on Friday.

During her live program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5), Duterte said that she had already signed the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the company on Thursday and met with its executives Friday.

She said the local government will procure the AZD1222, the vaccine jointly developed by the British firm in collaboration with Oxford University, through the national government.

She added that vaccines will be delivered in tranches since Astrazeneca could not supply it in bulk.

Duterte said the local government is targeting to inoculate 1.2 million Dabawenyos to achieve herd immunity.

The discussion between Duterte and Astrazeneca took place a day after the City Council of Davao approved an ordinance granting authority to the local chief executive to begin the transactions with Astrazeneca for a supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

She said the local government pursued discussion with the British drugmaker since it was the only firm ready to sign a contract with any local government unit (LGU).

But she added that thelocal government will also negotiate with other vaccine-makers for additional supply of vaccines.

She said she is set to meet with another vaccine-maker, also on Friday.

She said the city’s supply of vaccines will augment the nationwide vaccination program, targeting the individuals who are not in the priority list of the national government.

Based on the priority eligible groups of the national government, priority will be given to frontline health workers, indigent senior citizens, remaining senior citizens, remaining indigent population, and uniformed personnel.

She said the local government did not set a ceiling on the budget for vaccines since it will also negotiate for more supply from other pharmaceuticals.

“What we will do (is) we will talk to as many vaccine-makers as possible, especially those who have the intent to apply for EUA (emergency use authorization) or certificate of product registration in the Philippines, and ask them if they can deliver to us this number of doses and if they say yes, then, we will start the process of contracting with them,” she said.

Duterte assured that the local government will procure available vaccines from different vaccine-makers.

As of January 7, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region recorded 13,321 total COVID-19 cases, with 1,707 active, 11,064 recoveries, and 550 deaths.

Of the total cases, Davao City reported 9,325, Davao de Oro with 618, Davao del Norte with 1,684, Davao del Sur with 990, Davao Occidental with 131, and Davao Oriental with 573.