Tessie Sy, Ramon Ang, other biz leaders initiate AstraZeneca donation arrangements: Concepcion

QUEZON CITY, March 27 (PIA) --  Some top business leaders have proposed that the private sector donates 50 percent of Astra Zeneca vaccines, and the same shall be deployed to NCR amid the rising cases of COVID-19 in the region, said Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion in his March 25 PhilStar column Go Negosyo, Pilipinas, Angat Lahat.

This clarification comes amid misinformation that the government has imposed a 50-percent-donation requirement before the private sector can access COVID-19 vaccines, and the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in NCR.

Concepcion also explained that government was instrumental in the private sector being able to acquire vaccines for its employees and economic frontliners.

He said that in October to November last year, upon learning in talks with Astra Zeneca that only the government may procure since COVID-19 vaccines are still under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), he had talked to Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to allow them to procure on government’s behalf.

"We endorsed that half of what will be procured would be allocated for employees and the other half would be for the government frontliners. [Galvez] accepted this term as for one, it would ensure doses for our government frontliners, and on the other, it would lessen the population that the national government would need to vaccinate," Concepcion said.

This resulted in a tripartite agreement model which is now being adopted for the succeeding private sector vaccine purchases—for Moderna, Novavax, and Covaxin.

“Given this, without Sec. Galvez’s support, we would not be able to access any vaccines. Secretary Galvez trusted us, the private sector. It was this mutual trust between the public and the private sector that made all of these possible,” Concepcion said.

“As the NCR now serves as the epicenter of the resurgence of cases, together with Tessie Sy-Coson of  the SM Group and Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corp., we proposed to the government to direct the 50 percent donation to government priority sectors in NCR,” Concepcion said.

Concepcion said the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines which is around 2.6 million doses is expected to be delivered in May and June.

He said that as soon as these vaccines arrive, inoculation may start for economic frontliners, to which the other half of the doses are allocated for. He added that adopting this approach could provide the vulnerable sectors and essential sectors from both the public and private sector in the NCR the maximum protection from.

President Duterte has repeatedly said that safe and effective vacccines will be given for free to 70% of Filipinos. The Philippine government is working on to inoculate 70-80 million Filipinos by end of 2021. (PIA)


Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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