MANILA— President Rodrigo Duterte has approved a deal that would allow local government units to procure vaccines against the novel coronavirus, an official overseeing the effort said on Wednesday.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said he met with Duterte on Monday and recommended the approval of the tripartite agreement among local government units, the national government and pharmaceutical firms for the vaccine procurement.
"The President approved it immediately," he said.
Vaccine manufacturers only deal with the national government, making a tripartite deal with LGUs necessary so they can procure vaccines, National Task Force Against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon earlier said.
"Puwede pong mag-avail ng vaccines ang ating mga LGUs pero ito po ay kailangan gawin through a tripartite system or agreement between iyong vaccine manufacturer, iyong LGU at ng national government," he told reporters on Tuesday.
(Our LGUs can avail [of] vaccines, but this should be done through a tripartite system or agreement between the vaccine manufacturer, the LGU and the national government.)
"Very, very limited po ang supply ng vaccines at ikalawa siyempre po ‘pag gobyerno, special po iyong presyo ‘no, mas mababa po ang presyo," he reasoned.
(The supply of vaccines is very, very limited and second, if the government makes the deal, the price is special and lower.)
Several LGUs in Metro Manila have set aside funds for COVID-19 vaccines.
"Siya (Duterte) po ay natutuwa sa ating mga LGU dahil ang LGU po talaga ang may key role dito sa ating vaccination program," Galvez said of the local officials' initiative.
(He is pleased with our LGUs because LGUs have a key role in our vaccination program.)
The national government has yet to procure COVID-19 vaccines as none have been approved for local use yet, but inoculations here have been reported, particularly among members of the President's security team.
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