20M vaccine doses to be procured for business sector

·2 min read

The business community in Cebu is expecting the vaccination of economic frontliners soon.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam said many groups are offering like the Go Negosyo of Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion and the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Foundation.

“As to my knowledge, price is not the issue. It’s about availability and the sooner the better. Businesses are even now joining the Department of Health and the ‘Project Balik Buhay’ vaccination program which will start soon,” he said.

Taguiam said the business sector really needs the jabs soonest as Cebu is seeing the downtrend in cases.

With the ICTSI Foundation securing Moderna vaccines, the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) said the free vaccination of economic frontliners is part of a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR).

Steven Yu, MCCI president, said the ICTSI Foundation’s Moderna Vaccine costs $26.83 per dose inclusive of the services from Zuellig which includes an app.

“It is paid for by the business entities that will be giving it for free to their employees who are willing to be vaccinated as part of their CSR endeavor,” he said.

Yu said a vaccine procured by the private sector is a vaccine saved by the government that it can give to priority sectors to help the country attain herd immunity.

He said the business sector is banking on the vaccines to lift the pressures placed on the industries by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Vaccination is our only way out of this pandemic. There is an urgent need for us to build back our economy and restore our livelihoods. We should not be averse to vaccination to help ourselves, our loved ones and our country,” he said.

In addition, Yu advised the public to continue exercising minimum public health standards post-vaccination.

“We need time for the vaccine to achieve its full efficacy and to ensure that the virus cannot find a new host,” he said.

In a press release, the ICTSI said it is the lead private sector party in the eventual procurement and distribution of the Moderna mRNA Covid-19 vaccine.

The ICTSI, the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, the Department of Finance and Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. are collaborating to procure an estimated 20 million doses which to date will be the largest combined national government, local government and private sector vaccine order.

“Negotiations are ongoing and extremely advance, and it is the combined group’s desire to secure these vaccines at the best possible price in the shortest amount of time,” Enrique Razon Jr., ICTSI chairman and president, said.

The ICTSI has also formally committed to manage and fund the entire international logistics effort for the Moderna order. (JOB)