DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Sara Duterte has initiated her own talks with companies working on the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to procure vaccines for Davao City, a move that raised questions on its safety.
The Mayor said during an interview Friday on Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that she had reached out to three companies but only one company is willing to provide the vaccine directly to Davao, provided it has the approval of the national government.
But the talks with this company were halted after learning that the company is more interested to discuss profit from its talks with the Department of Health (DOH).
A report from Rappler said four vaccine companies that are in the advance stages of its trials are in negotiations with the national government to provide the vaccine to the Philippines. Some of these companies such as Sinovac have staged clinical trials in the country.
The national government has not yet released any documentation that allows the procurement of vaccines for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). But this prompted the city government of Davao to pursue talks with the vaccine-makers while waiting for a go signal.
“So we are waiting for that document also so that we will know what brands of the vaccine were given EUA by the national government to pursue them. But for now, we are not really waiting for that as we are now trying to seek out vaccines,” Duterte-Carpio said.
Some netizens, however, challenged the mayor to be among the first to try the vaccine she is proposing to prove its safe use for the public. Duterte-Carpio answered that challenge during the interview saying it is “incorrect to challenge a person.”
“The measurement of the safety and efficacy of a vaccine is through clinical trials, and if it has permits from FDA (Food and Drugs Administration), DOH,” she said.
The mayor said the city government has nothing to lose if it procures the vaccine early, “because the country is under the pandemic.”
She said the city government can adjust its city budget by postponing its planned programs and activities to re-allocate the budget to procure the vaccines.
Davao City has now accumulated 7,580 COVID-19 cases as of December 14. A total of 1,736 are active cases, while 5,499 have recovered and 345 have died.
The city also has been in the top five cities in the country of posting the most of number of new cases in recent months. (davaotoday.com)covid-19, COVID-19 vaccine, davao city, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Health Crisis, pandemic