Quezon City will receive an initial 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This comes after the city government has signed a tripartite agreement with the national government through the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) and AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines.

“This is part of the plan of our Task Force Vax to Normal. Now that we have secured 1.1 million doses, we will continue talking to other pharmaceutical companies to secure more vaccines for QCitizens to complement the national government’s goal. When more QCitizens are vaccinated, we can soon achieve herd immunity,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

The city mayor said that the additional allocation of AstraZeneca vaccines which is expected by third quarter of this year will definitely boost the city’s vaccination program and cater to more members of the priority sectors identified by the World Health Organization.

From the first order of 750,000 doses for 375,000 individuals from priority sectors, the additional doses will increase the number of beneficiaries to around 550,000 individuals.

Earlier, the city council approved the resolution authorizing Mayor Belmonte to enter into a tripartite agreement with the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and the AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines for the advance purchase of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Task Force Vax to Normal Co-chair Joseph Juico said that the local government will be fully hands-on in the inoculation program including the identification of beneficiaries, administration of the vaccines, and monitoring of the individuals who will receive the vaccines.

“While we will be handling all systems and processes of this program, the national government will supervise us in all areas. We will ensure that our efforts are in line with the national government’s roadmap and vaccine guidelines,” Juico said.

The city government will be increasing its healthcare workers by 2-3 times more. It is also finalizing its vaccination sites which will be strategically scattered in 9 sites across the city.

As for the storage and handling of the vaccines, the city government is in talks with a third party private company that has the capability to also help in patient monitoring and data gathering. This partnership with the third party will be long-term and will include management of the city’s vaccines for polio, measles, and others.