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Manila Mayor Francisco Isko Moreno Domagoso signs on Friday (Feb. 19, 2021) the authorization for the release of PHP38.4 million advance payment for the Covid-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca. The amount is equivalent to 20 percent of the total amount for the purchase of 800,000 doses. (Photo courtesy of Manila PIO)

Manila releases P38.4 million for vaccine procurement

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Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso issued the authorization for the release of advance payment for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine from a British–Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

Domagoso authorized the release of P38.4 million from the city’s budget on Friday.

The amount is equivalent to a 20 percent advance payment for 800,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

He said that this is in line with Manila City’s Covid-19 mass vaccination roadmap.

"Parating na ang bakuna pero hindi pa rin tayo dapat maging kampante (The vaccine is coming but we can't let ourselves be complacent)," said Domagoso.

Domagoso said while the 800,000 doses would only be enough for about 400,000 individuals as the AstraZeneca vaccine requires two doses per person, he said this is already a good start.

Domagoso also thanked the national government for allowing local government units to fast-track the procurement process.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed on Thursday a memorandum order increasing the 15 percent limit for advanced payments for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines for LGU’s.

Domagoso earlier said that he wants the city government of Manila to be always a step ahead of the Covid-19 situation taking proactive measures in order to mitigate the spread of the disease.

He also encouraged and supported the business sector in slowly reopening in order to help them recover, thus helping the economy of the city and of the country.

However, Domagoso believes that vaccination is the only solution.

“The key to the city's economic recovery is mass vaccination against Covid-19. Kapag may bakuna na, makakagalaw na ulit ang mga tao (Once people are vaccinated, they can move around again). Businesses can reopen and those who lost their jobs can once again go out and seek employment," he said.

As of Friday, over 88,000 individuals have already pre-registered for the Covid-19 vaccine through the manilacovid19vaccine.com website.

Domagoso also expressed willingness to be the first to be vaccinated once the Covid-19 vaccine becomes available to help boost public confidence in the vaccine.

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