In an interview Friday, January 8, 2021, Puerto Princesa City Administrator Atty. Arnel Pedrosa confirmed that they are in initial talks with a company to secure COVID-19 vaccines for Puerto Princesa residents.
“Actually, just recently ay meron kaming na-contact na nagpadala na ng disclosure agreement draft [at] kung sakaling matuloy ay baka ito ang kauna-unahang vaccine na ma-purchase ng city government…”
While Puerto Princesa officials declined to confirm which company they are currently having initial talks with, Puerto Princesa City Health Officer Dr. Ric Panganiban in an interview stated that out of all the vaccines being considered, the AstraZeneca Vaccine might be the perfect fit for the city.
“Yung number 1 na choice ng Research Committee [ng PPC-COVAC] ay ang AstraZeneca na choice. Kasi yun yung mukhang akma at the same time ‘di siya ganun ka-mahal kasi yung range nun mga $5 lang… per dose,” said Panganiban.
The AstraZeneca Vaccine has a 70% average efficacy rate according to phase 3 trial data. It uses a genetically altered virus called adenovirus which is given in two doses, up to 12 weeks apart. It was approved for use last December in UK and approved for use in India and Argentina last January 3. AstraZeneca’s vaccine needs to be refrigerated between 2°C and 8°C but does not expire.
Data released by Senator Sonny Angara last month placed the total price of 2 doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine at P610. This is inclusive of 12% value-added tax (VAT) and cost of inflation placed at 10%. The same data placed the cost of peripherals for vaccinators such as masks, face shield, alcohol and cotton balls at P1,924 for 2 doses. Assuming that the Puerto Princesa City Government has enough vaccinators, the cost of the vaccine and peripherals would be at P2,534 per individual.
Last Monday, Puerto Princesa City Mayor Lucilo Bayron announced the formation of Puerto Princesa City’s COVID-19 Vaccination Council. He added that they they are setting aside P500M for the vaccination program. And just yesterday, the Puerto Princesa City Council authorized Mayor Lucilo Bayron to negotiate and enter into an agreement to procure COVID-19 vaccine for Puerto Princesa Residents.