BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Bacolod City is getting 650,000 doses of coronavirus 19 vaccines from AstraZeneca pharmaceutical firm, Mayor Evelio Leonardia confirmed yesterday.
Leonardia said he asked the consent of AstraZeneca before disclosing the number of doses that Bacolod is availing of, following the announcement of other local government units on the number of doses that they are getting.
He stressed that he wanted to disclose earlier the information, but decided not to, in honor of the confidentiality agreement he had signed with the pharmaceutical firm.
Leonardia reiterated that the accord that the city had entered into with Astrazeneca is a giant leap towards realizing the city’s vaccination goals.
The mayor assures that a very substantial number of Bacolod’s population can be vaccinated as soon as the vaccines arrive.
Bacolod is among the top 5 cities nationwide, with Davao, Quezon, Makati, and Manila in terms of vaccine availment, he said.
As of Tuesday, 61 of the 145 cities of the Philippines have already allotted a total of P10 billion for the procurement of vaccines against Covid.
Meanwhile, Bacolod continues to record a decreasing trend in the number of positive cases, the latest only about 0.52 percent, records of the Emergency Operations Center Task Force show.
The data represent the turnout released on Jan. 10, coming from 191 specimens sent to various molecular laboratories.
As of Jan. 11, a total of 49,920 individuals had been tested for Covid in six operational molecular laboratories in the city.
Dr. Chris Sorongon, deputy for medical and data analysis of EOC, had earlier said that the city has consistently maintained fresh cases to a single digit, with an average of 160 to 200 tests and sometimes 200 to 300 per day when there are no holidays.
Sorongon said the city government remains steadfast in testing probables, close contacts, and returning residents as part of its efforts to curb the transmission.
The Bacolod Respiratory Outpatient (BRO) Center also continues to offer free consultations and swabbing to individuals who show symptoms of Covid, based on a physician’s diagnosis.
Sorongon admitted that acceptability, lack of information, and the fake news circulating over the internet are among the challenges they foresee that may hamper the city’s vaccination drive. This is the reason why education campaign is necessary before the start of the vaccination process, he said.*