City to vaccinate 190,000 residents
Baguio City has secured Covid-19 vaccines worth P200 million enough to achieve herd immunity and to be shared with its neighboring towns of Benguet.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong said the city government has secured 380,000 vaccine doses from British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, which will immunize 190,000 residents by the first semester this year.
Magalong said with the number of doses assured by AstraZeneca through a deal it signed with the city government, Baguio can immunize 70 percent of its 265,000 target population to achieve herd immunity.
Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient number of the population is protected from a contagious disease through vaccination. The Philippine government targets to vaccinate 70 to 80 percent of its population to achieve herd immunity.
Baguio is one of the local government units in the country that signed a deal with AstraZeneca for the Covid-19 vaccines.
Magalong added the city is also negotiating another deal with Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology for 50,000 doses of vaccine and has secured the commitment of the private sector for the acquisition and provision of free vaccines for the city.
He said Baguio will share its extra doses of vaccine to the neighboring towns in Benguet that failed to sign a deal with AstraZeneca.
AstraZeneca is one of the Covid-19 vaccine brands. The firm was granted the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drugs Administration, which is a requirement before the vaccine can be rolled out.
Magalong said the EUA allows pharmaceutical firms like AstraZeneca to administer the vaccine without going through the third phase of clinical trial in view of the Covid-19 pandemic that requires fast-tracking the availability of the vaccine against the infection.
The other Covid-19 vaccines are Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Janssen, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Clover, and Novavax.
All the vaccines require two doses and can be stored in normal fridge temperature except Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna that requires -70 degrees Celsius -25 to -15 degrees Celsius storage, respectively.
Magalong said Baguio has invested in the acquisition of a facility that meets the -70 degrees Celsius storage requirement to have a readily available facility should the government decides to procure the Pfizer-BioNTech and roll this out to the LGUs.
He also assured the city government will shoulder the medical costs if residents suffer from adverse reactions or side effects of the Covid-19 vaccine.
“It’s the government’s moral obligation to treat its citizens,” he said.
The city government will use its citizen portal app, Baguio in My Pocket (BIMP) in the administration of the vaccine to its residents.
Magalong said Baguio is so far the first LGU to employ technology in the Covid-19 vaccination through the QR code generated for those who registered in the BIMP that allows for easier access to the residents’ database. – Jane B. Cadalig