Sun. May 16th, 2021
(Photo Courtesy: http://www.cnbc.com)

The government signed on Thursday a tripartite agreement with local government units (LGUs) and private companies to secure 17 million doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines from British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the development.

In a recorded speech aired during the ceremonial signing of the agreement under “A Dose of Hope” project, Duterte described the deal as a “true showcase of unity of purpose and principled partnership benefiting our public.”

“This is bayanihan (cooperation) at work. To everyone involved in the ‘A Dose of Hope’ project, I congratulate you on this achievement. To all who helped and continue to grow this tripartite partnership – Maraming, maraming salamat po (Thank you very much),” he said.

Duterte commended the business community and the LGUs for ramping up support for the country’s fight against Covid-19.

“Together, we can ensure a safe, sure, and secure rollout of our national immunization program. Today, let us reaffirm our vow to ourselves and renew our guarantee to our people: From approval to vaccine administration – laging nasa sentro ang kalusugan at kaligtasan ng bawat Pilipino (The priority will be the health and safety of every Filipino),” he said.

As the world continues to grapple with the impact of Covid-19, he expressed hope that national recovery is within sight.

“There is light at the end of the tunnel. National recovery is within sight,” he said. “We now have the weapon to defeat this virus, the vaccine. Let’s win this war and save lives and livelihoods.”

The ceremonial signing of the tripartite deal to secure 17 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines was led by Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, and AstraZeneca Philippines country president Lotis Ramin on Thursday afternoon.

Several LGUs have already signed deals with the national government and AstraZeneca to secure vaccines for their constituents.

Galvez on Wednesday night said that vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd., the US’s Pfizer, and AstraZeneca may arrive in the country as early as February. SOVEREIGNPH

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