MANILA - Marikina City is setting up an indemnity fund for its residents should there be any unexpected side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, its mayor said Monday.
Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the city council had increased the fund to P15 million to shoulder the hospitalization of patients who would develop adverse reaction to the anti-coronavirus jabs.
"We're not putting a cap on individual assistance that will be provided. It will really be contingent, dependent on the medication or the treatment that one will be needing," he told ANC.
Teodoro revealed that many Marikina City residents had reservations on getting COVID-19 shots due to its safety and efficacy.
"We're sensing that hesitancy on the part of our citizenry," he said.
The city mayor described the general sentiment of his constituents as "cautious optimism".
"They are optimistic that vaccine is necessary for normalcy, meaning to go back to our economic, social and academic activities," he said. "But they want to be cautious about it due to some information they are receiving."
Teodoro said his constituents preferred vaccines from the United Kingdom and United States.
"Let me be candid about it, they had biases against those coming from China but now based on recent explanation and information they're receiving, they’re saying each brand that will be made available will be safe and effective on the basis of FDA approval," he said.
The city government has allotted some P87 million to place advance order of COVID-19 vaccine developed by British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and its partner Oxford University.
As of Feb. 10, Marikina City has logged 4,276 coronavirus infections, of which 87 people have succumbed to the illness.
The city's tally includes 3,921 recoveries and 260 active cases or those still sick with the virus.