Vax czar says ‘No’ to Naga vax purchase

By Paulo DS. Papa


Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Gabriel Bordado Jr., on Wednesday, Oct. 13 said that Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr., refused to sign the multiparty agreement (MPA) of the Naga City government, Department of Health (DOH) and private vaccine manufacturers for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.


The MPA with the IP Biotech, Ambitech and DOH, which was already signed by Mayor Nelson Legacion, once approved will allow the city government to purchase its own supply of Covid-19 vaccines.


Bordado said on Sept. 28, during the budget hearing of the DOH held in Congress, he asked DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III three questions concerning insufficient vaccine supplies delivered to the province including Naga City; the lack of dashboard showing updates on health status in municipal, city and provincial level, and the MPA.


He added that he received an email from the DOH last Oct. 12 promising more vaccines for Naga City, but he stressed in his reply that the signing of the MPA is more important.


Bordado said that when he personally talked to Galvez, the vax czar informed him that the MPA is no longer needed because the supply of vaccines being provided by the national government to the city has already exceeded the number of doses needed by its population.


“And nag simbag man baga si Sec. Galvez na dae na kaipuhan ta an maabot daa digdiyong bakuna sobra na daa sa kaipuhan kan populasyon. Makulog sa payo” he said.


He lamented that the city, given the rate, will have herd immunity in 2023 while the province will achieve the same in 2026.


On June 28, Legacion sent a letter to Galvez for an update concerning the agreement. The letter stated: “To further speed up inoculation, the city government earlier decided to procure its own vaccines. Thus we signed the Multiparty Agreement with IP Biotech and Ambitech as well with the national government for the procurement of 50,240 doses of COVAXIN that was developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech International Limited. We were informed by our logistics provider that the document was emailed to your good office June 24 but has yet to be signed.”


Meanwhile, a city official who requested anonymity said the IP Biotech and Ambitech face problems with Galvez but the issue was not official thus the signing of the MPA is still hanging.


IP Biotech is the exclusive importer and distributor of Covaxin vaccine to the country. It has appointed Ambitech as its consolidator.


To push the vaccine purchase, Legacion once again sent wrote Galvez and Duque requesting them to recommend a vaccine supplier that can sell and deliver the Covid-19 vaccines that the city needed.


The city government allotted P63 million for the vaccine procurement. The city has a population of 209,170 people.


As of Oct. 10, 2021, some 41,570 people in Naga City were fully vaccinated while 50,393 residents received their first shot of Covid-19 jabs from the national government.