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  • UPDATE: Philippine Red Cross Clarifies It Is Not Selling Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

    It will cover the cost of payment of the vaccines.
    by Johnna V. Giolagon .
UPDATE: Philippine Red Cross Clarifies It Is Not Selling Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Seda Yalova
  • [UPDATE, May 18, 2021] The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is clarifying the statement about COVID-19 vaccine made by Senator Richard Gordon. 

    During the May 17 forum by the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), Gordon announced that PRC purchased 200,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine good for 100,000 people and that shipment “will start coming in July.”

    “Right now we will be charging Php3,500 to recover the cost of our payment of the vaccines from Moderna but at the same time for our administrative cost,” Gordon said.

    These administrative costs include safety requirements such as PPEs (personal protective equipment) as well as logistics support — e.g. food and electricity — for Red Cross volunteers who will be part of the vaccination program.

    Asked if the Red Cross will become a ‘vaccine vendor,’ the senator answered, “No.”

    “We don’t make money. We try to make sure we speed up the process,” he said.

     The Red Cross is assisting in the COVID-19 vaccination program. Its chapters nationwide have begun free vaccinations using Sinovac and AstraZeneca passed on by the government.

    “A lot of people are vaccinated, they don’t want to get vaccinated by anything other than — and I don’t want to criticize — other than the top 2 brands, top 3 brands,” Gordon acknowledged.

    “The less people out there with no vaccination, the better,” he added.

    Gordon didn’t discuss how people can register for the Red Cross vaccination list, but acknowledged that people have been sending him messages wanting to be included.

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    In a statement on Facebook, PRC governor Ma. Carissa Coscolluela clarified the senator's statements.

    "What [Sen. Gordon] said was that the PRC procured Moderna COVID-19 vaccines and intends to vaccinate Red Cross members and donors, who are also our members, who are willing to bear the cost of the vaccines, whch was, US$26.83 per dose plus an administration fee that covers costs for syringes, gloves, PPEs, meals and allowances of our doctors and nurses, and other essential expenses related to the vaccination."

    She also said that as a humanitarian organization, PRC is "not in the business of selling vaccines. It does not charge for anything that it got free."

    Apart from offering vaccinations, the Red Cross also provides COVID-19 swabbing services, the registration for which is done through its website (redcross.org.ph).

    The Philippines has so far received some 7.764 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccines as of May 11. Around 2.540 million of these doses have been administered to the top three priority groups — medical frontliners, senior citizens, and adults with comorbidities.

    The Philippines is now slowly bouncing back from a resurgence of infections that mostly affected capital Metro Manila and adjacent provinces. Government has begun allowing more economic activity in the so-called NCR Plus area even while health experts are insistent on the need to achieve her immunity before the economy can be fully reopened.

    Moderna is also testing its vaccine on kids 6 months to 12 years. Click here for the story.

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