January 12, 2021|By Mary Catherine Ynez U. Lavega

Municipal mayors will be allotting funds from their savings to purchase Covid-19 vaccines once they are available. Governor Rhodora “Dodod” Cadiao urged the mayors to set aside the funds for their respective towns so that vaccination in the province can start as early as June this year. “Each LGU will shell out a share, depending on their budget and the province will also share around Php 10 million for the purchase of vaccines,” says Mayor Mary Jean Te, League of Municipal Mayors President.The municipalities will be allotting funds as follows: Php 7M from Belison; Php 1M from Tobias Fornier; Php 1M from Sebaste, P2.4M from Libertad, Php 1.5M from Hamtic; Php 1M from Anini-y; Php 5M from Laua-an, Php 2M from Barbaza; Php 10M from Caluya; Php 3M from San Remigio; Php 2M from Bugasong; and Php 2M from Patnongon. Municipalities not mentioned have yet to confirm. The funds are subject to change as the provincial vaccination plan progresses, as well as whether or not the national government will shoulder the expenses for the vaccination of uniformed personnel.“Kung ilan man ‘yan o magkano man ‘yan, ‘di pa natin alam lahat ng ‘yan. Ang importante dapat makapa-reserve tayo ng certain amount of money para di tayo mahuli. Kasi baka mauna ang iba, least priority ang Antique. Because I heard from the interview that they will prioritize the provinces and cities with high Covid cases,” says Gov. Cadiao.The provincial government is eyeing to purchase the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine which has an efficacy rate of 62-90% and according to a news report, costs Php 610 for two doses, in comparison to Sinovac with an efficacy rate of less than 60% and costs Php 3,629.50 for two doses. According to Cadiao, Oxford-Astrazeneca was suggested to the League of Governors and the vaccine is just awaiting approval of the Food and Drugs Administration.According to Dr. Leoncio Abiera, Jr., Provincial Health Officer I, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) is currently drafting a provincial vaccination plan wherein the priority for vaccination will be health frontliners, which includes both from the government and private sectors, as well as barangay health workers. Second priority are from the economic sectors such as Authorized Person Outside of Residence (APOR), education sector, media partners, and local chief executives. Third priority are from the vulnerable sectors such as senior citizens and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs). PHO is still awaiting for the Department of Health (DOH) to release a national guideline on vaccination.#JAN2021