LOCAL government and business leaders expressed their relief over the arrival of the first batch of vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) to the country, saying such development will help revive Cebu’s business climate.
“The arrival of the Sinovac vaccines brings relief, at least. (Vaccines) are starting to arrive. I'm sure more will come in the following days. Any brand is better than no vaccine. Let's get everyone to understand that being vaccinated is the only way we can all move forward,” said Felix Taguiam, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
On Feb. 28, the Philippines received 600,000 doses of donated Sinovac vaccine from the People’s Republic of China. The delivery of 525,600 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is also being anticipated.
"It is a welcome development that we have been hoping for in the fight against the coronavirus," Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said.
He said that the rollout of the vaccination program can help revive the business climate in the city.
Steven Yu, president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that once the healthcare frontliners are fully vaccinated, there will be far less pressure from hospitals being overwhelmed.
“Though much remains to be done, the arrival of the Sinovac vaccines last Sunday signals the beginning of the end of the pandemic, at least symbolically... Our confidence is greatly increased and boosted with this development because it shows that the government can deliver the vaccines,” said Yu.
600K doses of Sinovac vaccine donated by China arrive in PH
Cebu City officials optimistic over arrival of Covid vaccines
For his part, Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), said that the arrival of the vaccines "feels like the eagle has finally landed."
The Philippine National Government previously announced that Cebu City is one of the priority areas for its vaccination program.
"We are thankful that they are finally here. Whether which brand is fine as long as it will be available to all by the identified priority of the NVOC/NTF. We start vaccination immediately,” said Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH 7 director, referring to the National Vaccination Operations Center and the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
President Rodrigo Duterte encouraged the public to get vaccinated and “be a partner in preventing the further spread of the disease.”
“Magkaroon lang tayo ng stock na two million, bitawan ko na. I will open the economy. Talagang hirap tayo. You know, people have to eat. People have to work. People have to pay for their upkeep. And the only way to do it is to open the economy and for businesses to regrow,” Duterte said. (NRC, JJL, JOB)