MANILA – The private companies in a tripartite agreement with the government proposed to direct their vaccine donations to priority sectors in Metro Manila to help curb the spike in cases recorded in the region.
“This can be done as soon as the doses for May and June arrive. This may also coincide with the inoculation of our economic front-liners, to which the other half of the doses are allocated for,” Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said on his March 25 column in Philippine Star.
Concepcion said providing the 50-percent donation would give “maximum protection” to vulnerable sectors and essential workers in the region, which is now the epicenter of the resurgence of cases.
By May and June 2021, he said around 2.6 million doses of AstraZeneca jabs purchased under the tripartite agreement would arrive in the Philippines.
Aside from vaccine donations, the private sector is also ready to assist in the end-to-end flow of the donation to the vaccination centers by providing logistical and supply chain management services.
“So in this scenario, with the government’s approval, we would like to include and cover the government front-liners and priority sectors included in our donations with the economic front-liners inoculation—tapping Zuellig to deliver the needed services,” he said.
The “Dose of Hope” initiative led by Concepcion allowed large companies to secure around 15 to 20 million doses of vaccines from AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Novavax through a tripartite agreement with the government.
Once Covaxin’s emergency use authorization (EUA) is approved, the sector is also poised to get about one million doses of the India-made jabs.
As early as Oct. to Nov. 2020, Concepcion said companies have been in talks with AstraZeneca to procure vaccines for its employees, but the latter can only sell to the government since Covid-19 vaccines are still under the EUA.
“We endorsed that half of what will be procured would be allocated for employees and the other half would be for the government front-liners. (Vaccine czar) Sec. (Carlito) Galvez accepted this term as for one, it would ensure doses for our government front-liners, and on the other, it would lessen the population that the national government would need to vaccinate,” he said.
The tripartite agreement signed with AstraZeneca and the government is now being adopted for succeeding private sector vaccine purchases, he said.
“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. (PNA)