Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Vico Sotto urges public to trust experts on vaccine acquisition

PASIG CITY  Mayor Vico Sotto on Tuesday urged the public to trust medical experts on the country's acquisition of coronavirus vaccines.   

"Kapag sinabi ng mga dalubhasa na ligtas at mabisa ang Covid-19 vaccine, makinig at magtiwala tayo (When experts say that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and efficient, let's listen to them and have trust)," Sotto said during the city government's flag ceremony.

Sotto said the city government is closely working with the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Task Force against Covid-19 (NTF) for the equitable acquisition of vaccines as well as the synchronized implementation of the national immunization program on Covid-19.

The city government is also coordinating with the DOH for the Covid-19 vaccine deployment system, he said.

Sotto said the city government is now preparing its human resources personnel who will facilitate the immunization program and other logistical needs for the city-wide inoculation plan.

The city government, he said, has already started the comprehensive training of the city's vaccinators on Covid-19 vaccine deployment, facilitation, and inoculation plan.

With this, Sotto said Pasig City is equipped and ready once Covid-19 vaccines arrive in the country.

Sotto said the city government was able to secure around 400,000 doses of vaccines after signing a tripartite agreement with the national government and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca on Monday, which would inoculate around 200,000 PasigueƱos.

Sotto said this is apart from the vaccines that will be provided by the national government.

"Magtiwala po tayo sa siyensya...Sana kapag dumating yung pagkakataon na dumating na yung bakuna, sana po pumayag tayo magpabakuna (Trust science. I hope once the vaccines are available you will allow yourself to get inoculated)," Sotto told the residents.

The vaccination program will be done through phases and aligned with the DOH’s inoculation guidelines.

Under Phase 1, Sotto reiterated that the city government will prioritize medical and healthcare front-liners in the vaccination campaign for them to further provide better services to Covid-19 patients.

Phase 2 involves inoculation of vulnerable sectors such as senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs), he added.

Sotto assured that all residents will be vaccinated for free.

"Umaasa po ang inyong pamahalaan -- nasyonal at lokal -- sa inyong pakikiisa sa ating vaccination program (The national and local government are hoping for your participation in our vaccination program)," Sotto said.

In San Juan City, Mayor Francis Zamora also signed a tripartite agreement with the national government and AstraZeneca on Jan. 10.

“This is just the beginning of our efforts to provide a safe vaccine against Covid-19 to our constituents in San Juan City," Zamora said.

"AstraZeneca is a trusted institution that partnered with Oxford University in the United Kingdom to come up with an effective vaccine to finally put this pandemic behind us," he added.

The city government of San Juan has allocated about PHP50 million for the purchase of the vaccines.

"If the PHP50 million allocation is not enough, the city government, through our City Council, is ready to add more funds so that all our constituents who wish to get the vaccine may get it from the San Juan City LGU for free,” Zamora said.

The national government earlier said the country is now in advanced stages of negotiations with Covid-19 vaccine developers as it targets to inoculate 50 to 70 million Filipinos this year. (By Lade Jean Kabagani)