Is this our answered prayer?
The Philippine Red Cross will sell Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for PHP3,500 (US$74) for two shots sometime next month, its chairman Senator Richard Gordon said today.
Gordon said that his organization bought 200,000 doses of the vaccine through billionaire Enrique Razon, and added that amount is enough to cover the Red Cross’s team and several members of the general public.
“If we are going to wait for the [government’s] vaccines to come, we’re going to be late,” the senator said in an interview on the news program Headstart.
“So those of you who cannot wait, you pay P3,500 and that’s two doses already,” he said.
The Philippines has been struggling to procure COVID vaccines because most Western nations have purchased millions of doses to innoculate their own citizens. The government also dilly-dallied in buying the drugs, with President Rodrigo Duterte saying last year that he would not make advance payments to pharmaceutical companies and that the mere idea of doing so is “crazy.”
Gordon said today that the Red Cross had also purchased AstraZeneca vaccines. However, he said they would only arrive next year because India, where most of the world’s jabs are made, has ceased exporting them. Thousands of people have died of COVID-19 in the subcontinent, and the country is facing a serious vaccine shortage.
The senator also said that he is against the idea of mass vaccinations, a plan that the government wants to implement in Nayon Pilipino, in cooperation with Razon.
“I’m afraid of mass vaccinations… people will line up and they will just get sick,” the lawmaker said.
“What you need are more vaccination centers that are supervised… You cannot have 30,000 people being vaccinated in one area only. I think it is gonna cause a lot of problems,” Gordon added.
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