Ilocos Norte secures 120k doses of AstraZeneca vaccine


Jan. 12, 2021 ...

Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc confirmed yesterday that the Province of Ilocos Norte pre-ordered 120,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Company.

The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte will utilize a part of the P46 Million COVID-19 fund of the province for the procurement of an initial quantity of vaccines. This is expected to benefit some 60,000 residents or about 10% of the province's total population.

 "It is a tough decision for me because there were concerns about its efficacy. But, I also did not want to pass out the opportunity to get the vaccine early, so I just got a small amount," Governor Manotoc remarked.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has a 70% efficacy rate, compared to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech with 94% and 95%, respectively.

In his Facebook post, Governor Manotoc further elaborated the reasons for acquiring limited vaccine dosages for the province.

"a) Though AstraZeneca is cheaper and easier to store, it has a lower efficacy level compared to other vaccines; b) The data we have on vaccines is still early. We have much more to learn. Who knows what new vaccines or technology may come about in the future; c) Relatively speaking, our infection rates are low. It may not be practical or economical to vaccinate everyone. We still have many areas that haven't had any COVID-19 cases," he wrote on his official Facebook page.

COVID-19 frontline workers, senior citizens, and other vulnerable groups are set to receive the vaccine once available.

Meanwhile, Governor Manotoc issued Executive Order No. 110-21, an Order Reinstating Localized General Community Quarantine in Laoag City, yesterday to contain the alarming surge of COVID-19 cases in the Capital City.

As of January 11, Ilocos Norte has already recorded a total of 640 COVID-19 cases. Of which, 162 are active cases, 475 are recoveries, and 3 are deaths.