CEBU CITY – Once the Sinovac vaccine becomes available here, Mayor Edgardo Labella said he is willing to be among the first Cebuanos to be inoculated.
“If only to show to our people that it is effective and there is no problem. If that is the purpose, why not. Magpakit ko magpa-inject ko, magpa vaccinate ko (I will show that I will get the injection for the vaccine),” Labella said in response to a media query during a press conference on Wednesday.
The mayor was asked if he is willing to be inoculated with the vaccine from China.
He, however, clarified that the people should not be forced to get the Chinese vaccine if they do not want it.
“We (should) give them the opportunity to choose (because) after all these are peoples’ money, these are taxpayers’ money. I won’t allow forcing the people. If there’s a way to provide them the vaccine they are comfortable with, then so be it,” he said.
The mayor appealed to Cebuanos to listen to the vaccine board he created, saying that the body is composed of experts in epidemiological diseases.
Those who want to be vaccinated with the ones from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and others produced in different countries should, however, wait for their availability.
Meanwhile, Labella said the city government is now waiting for the approval of the national government before they can finalize the purchase of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines.
He said vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. on Tuesday told him and other officials and members of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) who attended a Zoom meeting that local government units (LGU) or private organizations could not “unilaterally order” vaccines without securing a nod from the national government.
The arrangement must be tripartite — LGU or a private firm, national government, and the supplier.
The city allocated PHP400 million for the Covid-19 vaccine purchase. (PNA)