Red Cross eyes Pfizer or AstraZeneca for vaccination program–Gordon

Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman and Senator Richard Gordon on Tuesday disclosed that the group is eyeing to launch its own anti-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program with vaccines from Pfizer or AstraZeneca.

One million doses of vaccines are the initial target, Gordon said, noting that these will be bought using donations.

US-made Pfizer, with 95 percent efficacy rate, is estimated to cost about P2,379; while UK-developed AstraZeneca would cost around P610 and is at least 70 percent effective.

Like its COVID-19 testing Samaritan program, he said the private group plans to sell the vaccines through buy-one-give-one system, where an individual can donate one vaccine to an indigent after one has bought one.

“The first plan of PRC is to vaccinate. We can vaccinate. How fast its distribution is crucial,” Gordon told the reporters in a virtual media briefing.

“I already talked with the [British Ambassador to the Philippines]. We can help them distribute the vaccines to the poor. But we have to undergo the appropriate procedures,” he added.

When asked how much the PRC would charge for the vaccine, Gordon said this depends on the price of the vaccines, procurement costs and operational expenses.

At least P900 million, the lawmaker bared, has been set aside for the inoculation program.

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