Pasig orders 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine


Posted at Jan 11 2021 08:31 AM | Updated as of Jan 11 2021 01:39 PM

Pasig orders 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine 1
A health-care worker holds a vial of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine at the Pentland Medical Practice in Currie, Scotland, Britain, Jan. 7, 2021. Russell Cheyne/Pool/Reuters/File

MANILA (UPDATE) - Pasig City has ordered 400,000 coronavirus vaccine doses developed by British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, Mayor Vico Sotto said Monday.

Sotto said the city government on Sunday signed a tripartite agreement with the national government and AstraZeneca for the advance purchase of COVID-19 vaccine worth P100 million.

"Actual quantity and date of delivery will depend on several factors," he wrote on Twitter. "We'll buy from others too as opportunities arise."

The city government has earmarked P300 million to procure vaccines against the virus, which has infected some 9,915 people in Pasig City as of Jan. 8.

The city's coronavirus tally includes 9,336 recoveries, 394 fatalities and 185 active cases.

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Sotto said the AstraZeneca vaccine was "relatively cheaper" at $5 per dose or P240 and could be stored and transported at normal refrigerated conditions.

"Slightly lower efficacy than others, but still very acceptable at 70 percent. Possibly 90 percent with adjusted dose," he said.

Some 200,000 Pasigueños are set to receive the vaccine jabs for free, with priority given to healthcare workers, older people and persons with disability (PWDs).

Sotto also appealed to the public to trust the vaccine's safety and efficacy as some were hesitant in getting inoculated.

"'Pag sinabi nila na safe, 'pag sinabi nila na ligtas [at] mabisa ang isang bakuna, dapat maniwala po tayo. Magtiwala po tayo sa kanila. Magtiwala po tayo sa siyensiya," he said during Pasig City Hall's flag-raising ceremony.

(If they say that the vaccine is safe and effective, we should trust them. We should trust science.)

Britain was the first country to approve the vaccine for emergency use.

The vaccine, also developed by Oxford University, is a "viral vector vaccine," where a specially engineered virus that normally causes chimpanzees to get the common cold delivers genetic instructions to human cells to make the spike protein jutting out from the new coronavirus's surface.

The AstraZeneca shot doesn't require deep freezing at minus 70 degrees like the mRNA vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech.

It can be kept in a standard refrigerator for 6 months and also cheaper to make.

$1 = P48.0530


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