Vaccines for private sector expected in Q4

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THE business community in Cebu is expecting vaccine doses for the private sector to arrive in the last quarter of 2021.

But business leaders hope for vaccines for the economic frontliners to arrive earlier than expected.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam encouraged all businesses to have their employees vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available.

“Any business industry will be a top priority for employers. This will have a huge ripple effect on the economy,” he said.

For Steven Yu, president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, they will adhere to the priority list cascaded by the national government.

“Depending on the quantity of arrivals from accredited suppliers, the target is before yearend, which is the fourth quarter of 2021,” he said.

Yu emphasized that any industry that has frontliners dealing with essential products and services should come first in the vaccine rollout.

“And then it will go down the list in terms of essentiality and frequency of person-to-person contact. In other words, vulnerability and essentiality are major bases,” he said.

At present, more than 300 companies in the country have entered an agreement with the government and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca for vaccine doses.

According to a Jan. 14, 2021 report, the business community and local government units (LGUs) signed agreements to procure additional doses of AstraZeneca. The transaction brought the total volume of vaccines purchased by the private sector and LGUs from AstraZeneca to 17 million doses, including the first vaccine deal of 2.6 million doses in November 2020.

The National Task Force Against Covid-19 said the second advance market commitment with AstraZeneca involved 14.4 million doses. (JOB)