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VACCINE SEARCH | City hopes to ink a deal with Johnson & Johnson




MAYOR Sara Duterte said on Monday that the city is trying to ink an agreement with the US multinational firm, Johnson & Johnson, for its vaccine against COVID-19.

“We are finished (negotiating) with AstraZeneca and we are talking to Johnson & Johnson on their vaccine but same with AstraZeneca, they will only talk to the national government,” the Mayor said over Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday.

She said they also have no idea about the quantity, the exact delivery date, as well as the brand of vaccines that are expected to arrive this month.

Last month, Johnson & Johnson released the results of its phase 3 study on the efficacy of its single-dose COVID vaccine. The study involved nearly 44,000 random subjects across the globe. The company said that the level of protection their vaccine will give was 72% in the United States, 57% in South Africa, and 66% in Latin America.

The Food and Drug Administration has a cutoff effectiveness rate of 50% to secure a license from the Philippine government.

The country is set to receive the first wave of Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines from the COVAX Facility starting mid-February. But she said her office has yet to receive a hard copy of the Vaccine Ordinance.

The Mayor said the public should manage their expectations because not everyone will be inoculated. The supply procured by the national government will be distributed among the provinces.

“We will only be given a limited number of vaccines, and those will be prioritized to protect our health workers who are exposed to COVID-19,” she said.

The registration for the vaccine will be conducted online, preferably using the Davao City QR code. The developer will present its solution on how to use the app in the vaccination program.

The mayor has recently signed contracts with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca based on the authority given to her by the 19th Davao City Council.

Duterte bared this during her Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR) program on Jan. 11.

“Ang latest pirmado na tanang contracts gipangayo sa atoa sa AstraZeneca. Gitagaan na ta og authority sa SP na mupirma (We already signed the contracts asked of us by AstraZeneca. The Sangguniang Panlungsod has given us the authority to sign),” the mayor said.

But only AstraZeneca will publicly announce or create avenues to present the agreements it made with the city government of Davao.

She also said that the negotiations with the British manufacturer were seamless, adding, “Wala man mi’y problema sa ilaha kay as early as October nagsulat na ta sa ilaha sa atong interest nga mupalit og bakuna sa ilaha (We didn’t have any problem dealing with AstraZeneca as we wrote them early October, signifying our interest to buy vaccines from them).”

Duterte added that the Task Force Covid-19 Davao City recommended a massive information dissemination campaign on the COVID-19 vaccine to allay the fears of Dabawenyos. The city government will develop vaccine information materials if they could not download them from other sources.

The city targets to immunize 1.2 million Davaoeños to achieve the herd of immunity as recommended by experts.“We might be waiting for years if we just rely on purchasing vaccines from one company,” she said.

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