Posted by watchmen
July 13, 2022
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga


The provincial government of Negros Occidental no longer has any issues with AstraZeneca over its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines amid a statement coming from Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez that he is not keen on paying the P98-million remaining balance for the vaccines the city government had purchased during the previous administration.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the provincial government only bought a minimal number of AstraZeneca vaccines, or around 50,000 doses.

“We have no problem consuming [those],” Lacson said.

Although there are no more issues between the provincial government and AstraZeneca, the COVID-19 vaccine maker initially came under criticism from the governor last year due to the meager release of the vaccines.

In July of last year, AstraZeneca faced supply chain problems and Lacson criticized them because they were made to believe it would be the first vaccines to be delivered.

The issue, however, was later panned out.

Earlier on Monday, July 11, Benitez said he was told by a representative of AstraZeneca about the remaining balance and he replied saying, “I will try to the best of my ability not to pay.”

“I would rather use that money for something else nga mausar sang aton pumuluyo,” the mayor said.

Benitez said the previous city government purchased from AstraZeneca 650,000 doses of vaccines and based on record, only 216,000 doses were utilized.

Benitez said 434,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are left stored at the Department of Health (DOH).

“The city government did not accept the delivery last year because it already exceeded its vaccination target,” said Benitez.

The problem is, he added, the vaccine’s life span is only six months, and with that about 300,000 AstraZeneca vaccines of the city have expired at the DOH./DGB, WDJ

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