Valenzuela taps local facility for COVID-19 vaccine storage

Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2021 03:38 PM

Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Valenzuela City has tapped a local cold storage and transportation facility for COVID-19 vaccines, which are expected to be delivered in the second half of the year, its mayor said Thursday.

The city government is expecting an initial delivery of 640,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines developed by British firm AstraZeneca and Oxford University, Mayor Rex Gatchalian said.

The jabs, which have overall efficacy in preventing symptomatic infections at 70.4 percent, are enough to inoculate 320,000 people or 70 percent of its adult population, he earlier said.

City health authorities are also negotiating with other manufacturers to increase its vaccine supply. Its local cold storage facility can handle temperatures of -22 degree Celsius.

During the interview, Gatchalian said he expected that vaccine hesitancy and validation of those eligible for inoculation were among the challenges in the rollout.

He said they would use the city's contact tracing system, ValTrace, in validating eligible recipients. They will also hire additional nurses who will administer the vaccines, he added.

As of Jan. 21, Valenzuela has tallied 9,019 coronavirus infections, data from the city's health office showed. The tally includes 8,482 recoveries, 274 active cases and 263 fatalities.

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