CEBU CITY – What’s causing the delay?
City Councilor Dave Tumulak posed this question to the Department of Health-Central Visayas (DOH 7) following the delay of the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines here.
It can be recalled that 210,000 doses of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines arrived in Cebu last week.
Tumulak said that based on the information that he received, the Pfizer vaccines will be distributed to different local government units in Metro Cebu.
Tumulak said Cebu City and Mandaue City were supposed to receive 21,060 doses each, while 23,400 doses were for Lapu-Lapu City.
Minglanilla (11,700 doses), Talisay City (7,020 doses) and Naga City (18,720 doses) were the other recipients of the vaccine.
But since the arrival of the vaccines last week, none was distributed yet to the city, Tumulak said.
“We don’t know yet when will they be distributed,” Tumulak said.
Tumulak added that according to DOH 7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, the Pfizer vaccines were intended for A1 (medical frontliners), A2 (senior citizens), A3 (persons with comorbidities and A5 (indigent people).
Tumulak said those belonging to the A4 priority list will not be receiving Pfizer vaccines as part of the agreement of the COVAX facility and the national government.
“Pfizer vaccines came from the COVAX facility and they have an agreement with the national government,” Tumulak said.
Tumulak revealed that more Cebu City residents have expressed willingness to be vaccinated but the lack of vaccines has forced the city to temporarily close three of its four vaccination centers.
“We are appealing to the DOH that if possible, those vaccines will be distributed as soon possible so that we can vaccinate our people right way. We are happy that more people are already open to being vaccinated but we don’t have the vaccines yet. That’s why we are hoping that the DOH will already give us the supply,” said Tumulak, who is a member of the city’s Vaccine Board and is in charge of overseeing the vaccination centers.
The city is expecting to open three more vaccination centers to beef up the four existing facilities.