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Chinese vaccines last choice for Navotas residents
In an interview on One News/TV5’s “The Chiefs” on Monday night, Mayor Toby Tiangco said city hall conducted a Facebook survey among 6,128 respondents, which showed that 64.1 percent would consider the brand of the vaccine before deciding to be inoculated.
STAR/ File

Chinese vaccines last choice for Navotas residents

Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - January 6, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Residents of Navotas City prefer Western-made vaccines over the Chinese-made Sinovac and Sinopharm, Mayor Toby Tiangco said.

In an interview on One News/TV5’s “The Chiefs” on Monday night, Tiangco said city hall conducted a Facebook survey among 6,128 respondents, which showed that 64.1 percent would consider the brand of the vaccine before deciding to be inoculated.

In the survey conducted Dec. 29, 2020 to Jan. 3, 18 percent of respondents said they would agree to be vaccinated using any brand, while 17.9 percent said they would not.

Asked about their preferred brand, 84.2 percent said they would prefer the US-made Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine over another US vaccine by Moderna (6.1 percent), United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca (3.8 percent), Russia’s Sputnik V (3.5 percent) and US vaccine Novavax (0.8 percent).

The China-made vaccines Sinovac and Sinopharm only got 1.2 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

The Chinese vaccines were initially eyed to be the first to arrive in the country. Both Chinese vaccine makers are set to apply for emergency use authorization (EUA) in the Philippines.

Pfizer submitted its application for EUA in the country last December.

Tiangco said the survey, while not scientific, was done to aid the national government in providing the vaccine brands preferred by residents at the local government level.

“I’ve shared the data with (vaccine czar) Secretary (Carlito) Galvez so that at least we did our share on what should be the basis in choosing the vaccine,” Tiangco said.

The Navotas city government earmarked P20 million of its budget to procure the vaccine, although they are hoping the national government would take the lead in inoculating the residents, Tiangco said.

Makati eyes  Western vaccines

The Makati city government is eyeing vaccines by AstraZeneca, Janssen and Pfizer for its residents since these are the brands that would “make convincing people to be vaccinated” easier, Mayor Abby Binay said in the same episode of “The Chiefs.”

“If they do not want to be vaccinated, so be it. We cannot force them. If you do not have your vaccine, there may be health restrictions… We do not know how things would go,” she said.

Binay thumbed down the use of Sinovac’s vaccine, saying she would rather wait for the three vaccines than go with the China-backed pharmaceutical company.

“Maybe Sinovac would enter our country first because the talks with them is almost finished. Pfizer, on the other hand, the negotiations are still ongoing, so we have to consider global supply and demand, so the projection is maybe second or third quarter of this year,” Binay said.

She also said the city government will not vaccinate all residents but instead would focus on those of legal age.

“Our voting population, as of 2019, is 454,000. So, the vaccine for 500,000 individuals, that is very doable because we are not planning to vaccinate people below 18 years old. We are only going to vaccinate those that are of age of consent,” Binay said.

If the city government still has money left, it will also procure vaccines for the “day population” comprised of workers not from Makati, Binay said. She hopes that most companies would procure vaccines for their workers. – Ralph Edwin Villanueva

TOBY TIANGCO
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