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A proposal has been raised in the City Council for a program that will allow the city government to purchase COVID-19 vaccines once they are available in the market, to be used primarily for indigent families.
The proposed ordinance, filed by Councilor Herbert Dilig, calls for prioritizing “indigent residents” by providing them with free vaccination.
“In light of the recent development as regards invention COVID-19 vaccines and their soon-to-be availability, this Council deems it necessary to adopt measures to ensure that indigent Puerto Princesans will have free access to the said vaccines,” the proposed ordinance said.
The City Health Office (CHO) will be tasked to lead the program, with the City Social Welfare Development Office (CSWDO) and City Planning Office (CPO) who would qualify the beneficiaries.
The budget, which is yet to be set based on inputs from the other concerned local agencies, will be drawn from the COVID-19 Pandemic Program Funds, which was earlier appropriated through city ordinance No. 32-2020.
The proposed local legislation was referred to the committees of appropriations and health for further deliberations.
At present, no pharmaceutical company has fully developed a COVID-19 vaccine, even as President Rodrigo Duterte recently expressed the country’s preparedness to support the clinical trials on the vaccine being developed by the Russian government.