Bangsamoro yet to decide which COVID-19 vaccine to procure: chief minister

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 29 2021 11:30 AM

Bangsamoro yet to decide which COVID-19 vaccine to procure: chief minister 1
A woman holds a small bottle labeled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken Oct. 30, 2020. Dado Ruvic, Reuters/File

MANILA - The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has yet to decide which COVID-19 vaccine to procure, its chief minister said Friday, after confirming initial reports that the region has allocated some P500 million for the jabs.

The BARMM has "not initiated yet negotiations for the vaccine" but is "seeking also some advice" from the national government on which brand to procure, BARMM chief minister Ahod Al Haj Murad Ebrahim said in an online forum hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.

"Once we feel we have made up our minds, we will start purchasing," he said.

"We are also looking forward that the national government will also extend some assistance to BARMM," he said.

The COVID-19 vaccine that will be procured for the Bangsamoro also needs to undergo a separate fatwa or legal opinion based on Islamic law, BARMM Health Minister Dr. Amir Usman told TeleRadyo in an earlier interview.

The BARMM leadership needs to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccine for the Bangsamoro people is a certified Halal product, he said.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Pfizer's and AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use this month.

As of January 27, BARMM has recorded a total of 3,036 COVID-19 patients. Of these, 73 died, 2,776 recovered, while 187 are still recuperating from the disease. 

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