BY ADRIAN P NEMES III
Bacolod City may get an additional 150,000 doses of vaccine against the coronavirus disease 2019, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said yesterday.
This is on top of the 650,000 doses that the Swedish-British AstraZeneca pharmaceutical firm will send to the City in the third quarter of this year, Leonardia said, adding that, so far, Bacolod only needs at least 24,000 additional vaccine doses.
The City is yet to decide whether these vaccines will be purchased from another pharmaceutical firm or from AstraZeneca also, he said.
Aside from the AstraZeneca vaccines that will be procured using a portion of the P300-million budget allotted by the City earlier, Bacolod will also receive vaccines from the national government.
Leonardia said the only problem right now, however, is that there are few people in Bacolod who want to be vaccinated despite the fact that at least 68 percent of the city’s population is above 18-years-old and qualified.
He stressed that other areas in the country were not able to secure vaccine doses but their residents want to be vaccinated, while in Bacolod, vaccines will be made available soon yet only a few want to have it.
Leonardia, who led the oath-taking of the new officers of the Negros Press Club yesterday, reiterated his appeal to the media to help in the education information campaign on the importance of the vaccination program.
Recently, the Emergency Operations Center launched an online forum on Facebook where medical experts answer questions about the vaccines.
Leonardia said many were misguided about the vaccines while others are still in a wait-and-see situation.
“Hopefully, it will not come to a point that the city government will impose a no-vaccine, no-work policy in Bacolod, like in Iloilo,” he added.
He admitted also that the vaccination program is a logistical nightmare because there are many details to handle, procedures to follow, and equipment to provide.
The City is set to buy 25 refrigerators where the vaccines will be stored while a cold storage room is being constructed at the annex building of the Bacolod Government Center.
NO WORD YET
Leonardia said he has not received any information that Bacolod City will receive a share of the vaccines from Sinovac that arrived in the Philippines Sunday.
The National Capitol Region might be prioritized, he said.
He emphasized that Bacolod is also one of the priorities to get the vaccines when available.
The NPC officers, who took their oaths before Leonardia at the Negros Press Club building in Bacolod City, yesterday were led by Yves Montecillo as president, Eljohn Castaño—vice president, Nanette Guadalquiver—secretary, Eden Aboso—treasurer, Martian Earl Muyco—auditor, Merlinda Pedrosa, Renato Duran, Carla Cañet, and James Henry Toga as members of the board of directors, and Glazy Masculino—ex-officio. Leonardia was a former president of the NPC, the oldest press club in the country that was founded in 1936.*