The Manila city government has secured an advance purchase of 800,000 coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccine doses from British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso announced on Monday that he signed a tripartite agreement with AstraZeneca, the National Task Force Against COVID-19, and the Department of Health (DOH) for the procurement of the vaccines on January 5.
This will be enough to cover at least 400,000 of the city’s target population in its immunization plan, Domagoso said. He said the vaccine will arrive in the country “in the coming months.”
“Malugod kong ipinapaalam at ibinabahagi sa inyo… (Today, I can officially announce) and it’s final, and it’s official, that the city has already acquired vaccines for 400,000 people in the City of Manila,” he said during the city’s regular flag-raising ceremony on Monday.
“We will continue to acquire other possible, effective, safe, and efficient vaccines for the people of Manila. And aakapin natin kahit hindi taga-Maynila ‘pag sila ay dumadako sa lungsod ng Maynila (we will embrace even those who are not residents of the city if they frequently come to the City of Manila),” he added.
The Manila city government has allocated a P250-million budget to buy COVID-19 vaccines that will be distributed for free to residents and workers of the city.
The city government also launched the website manilacovid19vaccine.com that allows residents to pre-register and reserve their slots for the vaccine. The Manila mayor said at least 60,000 residents have already signed up on the website as of Monday.
Frontline workers, senior citizens, other vulnerable sectors, and those who pre-registered will be prioritized in the roll out of the vaccines.
Domagoso said the city government is prepared to buy COVID-19 vaccines from other multinational pharmaceutical companies once they secure approval for use and distribution from national health authorities.