Davao City is asking the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to consider purchasing more Western vaccine brands due to the low acceptability of Davao residents of Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines from China.

“We come up with the resolution [informing the IATF] because this has become a huge challenge in vaccination rollout,” Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said over the city government’s Davao City Disaster Radio on Monday.

She said the national government should “stop buying and stop sending Sinopharm and Sinovac to vaccination sites, and instead focus on buying Pfizer and Moderna since there is high interest in Pfizer and Moderna.”

Duterte said the city government came up with the resolution due to residents’ low acceptability of vaccines made from China, namely Sinopharm vaccines of China National Pharmaceutical Group and CoronaVac vaccines, of Sinovac Biotech Ltd. The presidential daughter said Western vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna draw more people to the vaccination sites than the Chinese brands.

However, the mayor urged her constituents to get the jab regardless of the brand since 87 percent of the Covid-19 deaths recorded in the city from Sept. 12 to Sept. 18 were unvaccinated.

“What is this telling us? It’s telling us that majority of those who died did not have the protection of the vaccines. It also tells us that it doesn’t matter which brand of vaccines you choose,” she said.

Duterte-Carpio urged Davaoeños to stop being choosy with their vaccines, saying all vaccines are effective against Covid-19.

She admitted that she got the Sinopharm vaccine, the same brand that her father President Rodrigo Duterte got.

Responding to the city’s low acceptability of Chinese jabs, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said it could take time to give in to Davao City’s request since Western-made Covid-19 vaccines continue to arrive “in trickles”. Chinese-made vaccines make up bulk of vaccines procured by the national government.

“On behalf of IATF, sino bang ayaw ng Western brand? Ang problema lang, talagang hindi natin nakukuha ang supply. We ordered 40 million. Pero nakikita n’yo naman, they come in trickles,” he said. – Rommel F. Lopez