Galvez: LGUs, private sector to be allowed to directly purchase vaccines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 12) — Local government units and private companies will soon be allowed to purchase COVID-19 vaccines directly, the country's vaccine czar said Saturday, National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. has announced.

"'Yung full authorization ng Pfizer and maybe other brands in the future will change our procurement strategies kasi 'yung...ating mga LGU at saka mga private sectors, puwede na pong dumiretso. Wala na po tayo magiging MPA (multi-party agreement)," Galvez said during a task force meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday.

[Translation: The full authorization to purchase Pfizer and maybe other vaccine brands in the future will change our procurement strategies because...LGUs and the private sector will be able to go them directly. There will be no MPA anymore.]

However, Galvez did not mention when such agreements could begin.

LGUs have yet to comment on this development.

In August, Senator Migz Zubiri filed Senate Resolution 858, pushing for an inquiry on why several tripartite agreements to purchase vaccines have not been signed.

The National Task Force Against COVID-19 and Department of Health previously allowed LGUs and private firms to procure shots provided they enter into tripartite agreements with the national government and vaccine manufacturers.

In the same month, Galvez disclosed that some vaccine manufacturers preferred to deal with the national government directly in procuring doses instead of entering into MPAs.

Galvez said "vaccine makers are still not able to produce at a level that would meet the requirements of all nations."

In the latest briefing, Galvez said the focus now would be on distributing more vaccines outside of the National Capital Region.

"We are recalibrating our Focus and Expand strategy giving more allocation now to Region IV-A. So, sa Region IV-A na po tayo mauuna [will come first] and then Region III, Region VII, Region VI, Region X, Region XI, and other surge areas as directed by the President," he said.

Galvez added around 61 million doses of various vaccines are expected to be delivered to the country from September to October, including 22 million doses of Sinovac and 15 million doses of the Pfizer vaccines.