MEDICAL frontliners will be the first to be vaccinated once the Cebu City Government has a Covid-19 vaccine.
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, in a press conference on Jan. 8, 2021, said the medical frontliners are the most exposed to the suspected and confirmed Covid-19 patients, so there is a need to prioritize them.
Labella said next in line are the police and military forces.
Labella said law enforcement groups have been deployed to man the checkpoints around the city since the city was placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in March 2020.
Other sectors to be prioritized in the vaccination program are the senior citizens and those considered the “poorest of the poor.”
Labella targets to have 70 percent of the total population in Cebu City vaccinated.
Labella will direct the village chiefs to start identifying those residents considered as the “poorest of the poor” in their respective barangays.
He also said the vaccine will be provided to the included sectors for free.
Labella was alarmed upon knowing that 50 percent of the Filipinos are afraid to get vaccinated.
To address this concern, Labella said an information drive will have to be conducted prior to the start of the vaccination program.
He said he is even willing to get himself vaccinated first to set an example.
A proposed ordinance providing the guidelines of the City’s vaccination program is now pending before the City Council.
The draft ordinance, authored by Councilor Alvin Dizon, contains the guidelines and steps that the City will undertake prior, during and after the vaccination.
Labella also said vaccine in-charge Secretary Carlito Galvez told him to wait until the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will approve a vaccine and have it available in the country.
Once the vaccine will be made available, there has to be a tri-partite agreement among the local government unit, national government and the pharmaceutical company.
Labella prefers Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as they have higher efficacy rates compared to other Covid-19 vaccines.
The City has set aside a total of P400 million for the purchase of the vaccine.
He said a supplemental budget will have to be made to complete the P500 million target budget for the Covid-19 vaccine. / JJL