DAGUPAN CITY – The city government is set to acquire the initial 40,000 doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine from the British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves its usage in the country.
In an interview Monday, Mayor Marc Brian Lim said the priorities for the vaccine are high-risk individuals in the city, such as the front-liners, and the vulnerable sector like the senior citizens.
Lim, however, clarified they target to vaccinate all residents here, and the city government has funds for the purchase of additional doses.
The city currently has an estimated 160,000 population.
Lim has also ordered the City Health Office to organize vaccination teams and have them trained.
He added the city government plans to launch a vaccination digital passport that will serve as proof that a person has been vaccinated.
Lim, together with a representative from AstraZeneca and vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. as well as Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, signed a tripartite agreement on Jan. 8.
Before the agreement, Lim has sent a letter to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases signifying the city’s intention to buy vaccines the moment an FDA-approved vaccine becomes available in the country.
As of Jan. 10, Dagupan City has a total of 203 active cases.
Meanwhile, the provincial government of Pangasinan is waiting on the national guideline regarding the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.
In a separate interview on Monday, Provincial Health Office chief Dr. Anna Ma. Teresa de Guzman said Governor Amado Espino III is working to allot funds for the purchase of vaccines.
De Guzman said they are hoping for the vaccination to begin in the first quarter of the year.
Pangasinan, excluding Dagupan City, has over 1.9 million registered voters as of 2019. This means the province’s total population exceeds 2 million. (PNA)