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Vico Sotto: Vaccines Could Be Ready By February

Will Pasig be the first city to administer COVID-19 vaccines?
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/VICOSOTTO
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Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto says the city is preparing to roll out COVID-19 vaccines as early as February, in a phone call interview with ANC

According to Sotto, the city is now in talks with vaccine manufacturers to secure a couple of thousand doses for the city’s frontline health care workers. Sotto also clarified that these are being coordinated with the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 and the Department of Health. 

"For medical frontliners, we can expect it as soon as February. This is for medical frontliners... a couple of thousand...that's what we're working on right now," said Sotto. "We're ready, we're in talks right now. It's probably premature to mention a particular brand, but we're looking at studies," he added. Pasig has 755,000 residents. 

Metro Manila Cities and Their Vaccine Budgets

Pasig is among the cities in the Philippines that have allotted budgets for the procurement of vaccines. Sotto announced he has set aside P300 million for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. Makati has set aside P1 billion for COVID-19 vaccine procurement. Quezon City is also planning to set aside P1 billion for vaccines. Paranaque has earmarked P250 million, Mandaluyong has P200 million, Caloocan P125 million, and San Juan allotted P50 million

Valenzuela City also set aside P125 million for vaccine procurement, while Navotas had P20 million to spare. Pasay promised P250 million for vaccines. Taguig, which is home to the wealthy business district of BGC, has allotted P1 billion for vaccine procurement. 

In total, the Metro Manila cities have a combined budget of P4.420 billion for vaccine procurement. Metro Manila is the most densely populated region in the Philippines with an estimated population of 12.8 million. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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