MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has set aside P20 million for the purchase of a COVID-19 vaccine, Chairperson Danilo Lim assured its employees on Wednesday.
Lim said the MMDA made the appropriation in coordination with the Philippine International Trading Corp. (PITC), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Once a memorandum of agreement could be finalized, the MMDA — which has most of its workers on the field — would be included among the government offices that would buy the vaccine.
“The vaccine will add up to our sustained efforts against COVID-19. Our personnel who are mostly frontliners can be fully secured of their health,” he said, adding that employees coui=ld also bring with them a family member for vaccination.
“Our employees’ families are as important as they are to us. We want them to be protected, too,” he added.
According to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia, the vaccination drive — once a vaccine would become available — would be important in curbing the transmission of the coronavirus, especially as most of MMDA’s 8,000-strong personnel often interact with other people.
“Vaccination can stop the spread of the virus. COVID-19 spread from one person to another but when a person is vaccinated, he is protected from the virus. COVID-19 vaccines can help boost our personnel’s immune system thus decreasing their risk from getting the virus,” he claimed
As of now, Russia is the only country to have granted regulatory approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, with President Vladimir Putin saying that the vaccine made by Moscow’s Gameleya Institute was shown to develop a strong immunity in people.
Putin said that the vaccine had been administered to one of his daughters.
However, health experts in the West are skeptical of the Russian vaccine, with German health minister Jens Spahn saying that what would be important was not being the first country to make the vaccine but the creation of a safe and effective one.
Scientists even in Russia warned that offering vaccines to other countries without completing the critical Phase 3 of vaccine trials, or administering it to thousands of infected people, may backfire.
According to reports, the Phase 3 trial could actually take months before being completed, which means that hurriedly distributing vaccines without the Phase 3 trial may expose people to danger.
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