The Taguig City government has signed a deal with AstraZeneca for the purchase of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines and is also in talks with other vaccine suppliers.
It earlier announced that it has allotted P1 billion for COVID-19 vaccination out of the P13.5 billion city budget for 2021.
Taguig has joined other local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila in sourcing COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca.
The city government said its purchase of COVID-19 vaccines is only to augment the supply that will come from the national government.
“The national government’s allotment will come first. We expect it during the first quarter but that will be for medical frontliners and the vulnerable sectors so we have already been preparing our vaccination sites and vaccination protocols,” said Mayor Lino Cayetano.
He added, “We want, however, all Taguigeños to have access to the COVID vaccine. All LGU [local government unit] procurement of vaccines, we are told will come after the national government allotment and that will be sometime during the last quarter of 2021.”
The Taguig Public Information Office (PIO) did not disclose how many doses of the vaccine will be purchased from AstraZeneca.
Citing health experts, Cayetano said COVID-19 immunization is the key to ending the pandemic soonest.
“So far, we have ensured that our testing, disease surveillance and treatment services meet the highest standards. We certainly plan to continue leading as we approach the homestretch,” he said.
The city government said the AstraZeneca deal has been approved by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and the Department of Health and is also considering buying the vaccine from other companies.
“Following the advice of our scientists and experts we are looking at all available options and continue to be aggressive in our preparation and research into other vaccines and new technologies to help end COVID-19,” Cayetano said.