OF ITS P400 million allocated budget for the acquisition of Covid-19 vaccines, the Cebu City Government will spend P200 million to acquire AstraZeneca and Covovax vaccines.
This after the City Council gave Mayor Edgardo Labella the authority to negotiate with the two Covid-19 vaccine
Labella told reporters that after the City Council gave him the power to negotiate the purchase, he immediately sent letters of intent (LOI) to the two companies.
Cebu City Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia, majority floor leader and chairman of the budget and finance committee, said he has yet to determine how many vaccine shots can be acquired from the P200 million approved budget.
The City Council’s approval to purchase vaccines from AstraZeneca and Covovax came just as the National Government began to roll out 7,200 doses of the China-made Sinovac vaccine to Cebu which will be first given to government-hired health workers.
On Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) began Cebu’s Covid-19 vaccinations at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City.
Labella thanked Secretary Carlito Galvez, the National Government’s appointed vaccine czar, for giving Cebu its first batch of Covid-19 vaccines.
Galvez assured Labella that more Covid-19 vaccines will be sent to Cebu in the coming weeks, especially since the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in the country earlier this week.
With more brands coming to the country, Labella assured his constituents will have a broader choice of vaccines.
Labella is expected to report back to City Hall next week after a month spent working from home.
During a virtual press conference on March 5, 2021, Labella said while he is now feeling better, he is heeding his doctor’s advice to shy away from many people for the meantime.
Labella said with the Covid-19 situation in the city now, his doctor told him to be very careful considering that he is a senior citizen and immunocompromised.
“Anyway, mga next week siguro anha nako (maybe next week I’ll be there),” said Labella.
Labella started working from home on Jan. 25, 2021 after he was discharged from the hospital reportedly due to an ear infection.
Labella said he also had his office disinfected after his janitress tested positive for the Covid-19.
On March 5, Friday, the whole City Hall building was disinfected after some employees from the Office of the Building Official (OBO), Department of Engineering and Public Works
(DEPW), City Accounting Office, and the Sangguniang Panlungsod Secretariat Office tested positive for the virus.
Work at the City Hall was called off for half a day to pave the way for the disinfection. (PAC / JKV, JJL)