MANILA - Quezon City is in talks with other pharmaceutical firms to purchase more COVID-19 vaccines from other sources, an official leading the city's pandemic response said Friday.
"Definitely, we just can't rely on one. We've been talking to a number [of pharmaceutical companies] already," Joseph Juico, co-chair of Quezon City Task Force on COVID-19, told ANC.
This, after the city government entered into a tripartite agreement with the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and AstraZeneca for the advance purchase of some 750,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
Juico said this was part of their localized vaccine road map, which seeks to fast-track the city's vaccine rollout.
He earlier said the city had allocated an initial P1 billion in its 2021 budget to procure vaccines and supplies needed for the inoculation.
Based on the recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO), Quezon City will prioritize medical workers, older people, persons with disabilities (PWDs), indigent families, essential workers and uniformed personnel, Juico said.
City health authorities have conducted ocular inspection of possible storage facilities for the vaccines, he said. They are also finalizing the list of inoculation centers in the city, with 9, including 3 hospitals, so far identified.
"We're trying to move as quickly as possible just in case a vaccine arrives earlier than expected," Juico said.
The city government will also conduct information campaign to address vaccine hesitancy.
"The number 1 reason why a good number of Filipinos are hesitant to be vaccinated is due to safety concerns so I guess we have to focus on that," he said.
A recent Pulse Asia survey revealed that 47 percent of Filipinos said they would not get themselves vaccinated against COVID-19.
Quezon City has the highest number of coronavirus infections in the country, with 39,621 cases recorded, data from the Department of Health (DOH) as of Jan. 7 showed.