DAVAO

Covid-19 vaccines by February

Photo by Associated Press

THE City Government of Davao is expected to receive an allocation of Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 by February, a health official said.

"By late February, we're going to acquire [it] from the National Government. Pero (but) this will not be a local purchase. This will be allocated from the National Government," Davao City Covid-19 focal person Dr. Ashley Lopez said in a radio interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

Pfizer-BioNTech's BNT162b2 is the first Covid-19 vaccine to be issued with an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Lopez said this will be the first Covid-19 vaccine that will be rolled out in the city. He declined to give further details on the number of doses the city will receive.

But the health official said medical health workers, who are on the government's priority list, will be the first batch to be vaccinated.

"Most likely, kaning (this) Pfizer [vaccine] na muabot (that will arrive) by February [will be] intended for our government health workers, hilabi na nga nagtrabaho sa (especially those working at) SPMC (Southern Philippines Medical Center)," he said.

But he said those working at the private hospitals will also be included.

He said health workers in SPMC will be prioritized, considering the hospital is at the center of the city's Covid-19 response, which also caters to the majority of Covid-19 patients in the city and Davao Region.

In a previous SunStar Philippines report, FDA Director General Enrique Domingo said in a virtual forum that the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine would remain in effect in the Philippines for the duration of the public health emergency. In this case, he said the EUA is good until the end of the year.

Pfizer-BioNTech applied for a EUA in the Philippines on December 23, 2020. The United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Switzerland, and Singapore have already issued a EUA for this vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only candidate vaccine against Covid-19 that has been issued an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

It is primarily aimed at preventing Covid-19 in individuals who are 16 years old and older. Prior to dilution, it has to be stored at -80 to -60 degrees Celsius.

Health officials earlier said the government would prioritize distributing Covid-19 vaccines to priority groups including frontline health workers in high-risk areas such as Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Cebu City, and Davao City.

The Davao City Government, in a previous report, has signed an agreement with British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Inc. for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines. The pharmaceutical firm committed to delivering initial doses of its Covid-19 vaccines to the city by the third quarter of 2021.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio also said they are in talks with other Covid-19 manufacturers for additional vaccines.

The city is targeting to immunize an estimated 1.2 million Dabawenyos for it to achieve herd immunity.


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