INSIDER Ep 1 | 12K doses of Novavax vaccines to arrive in XU this October
Sep 22, 2021
In line with the first announcement through Memorandum #U2021-071 released last April by University President Fr. Mars P. Tan SJ, the XU vaccination administration team, headed by Engr. Dexter S. Lo and University Health Services Office Director Dr. Augusto Guitarte Jr, expects the arrival of 12,150 jabs of Novavax vaccines this Oct.
The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is a US-made vaccine manufactured in India and distributed by United Laboratories, Inc. (UNILAB) Philippines. Each 0.5 mL dose is priced at around Php 1,000, which totals each individual’s vaccine shot at Php 2,000. There are 6,075 vaccines allocated for XU employees and higher education students aged 18 years old and above enrolled for AY 2021-2022. This also includes graduate and post-graduate students, such as those in Law and Medicine.
However, due to increasing COVID-19 cases and demand for vaccines, Tan discloses that there is a possibility that the University’s vaccines may not arrive by Oct. “If they do arrive, they might not arrive in the entire number or the total number of 12,150 doses. They might arrive on an installment basis, so that's another challenge. I hope they will arrive on time, but there is always that possibility that they will not arrive on time so I just have to warn people so that we don't have false expectations,” he explains.
“If they (the vaccines) won’t arrive in total number, then we have to prioritize the least-off students. So, meaning to say, we will administer vaccines to students who have classes or programs that would need them to come (on campus). For example, if they have laboratory courses, laboratory subjects that they have to do here. Or if they have, also, programs and classes that require them to be exposed to people outside, then they should be in the priority list,” Tan adds.
Currently, the vaccination administration team has been contacting health providers in Polymedic Plaza, Maria Reyna, and Capitol University Medical Center (CUMC). The vaccination sites will be held either in the hospitals, Main, or Macasandig campus.
Guitarte shares that the administration has three options on how to go about the vaccination administration process. “One option is to utilize our health personnel in the University—the nurses, the doctors, the medical students and nursing students from fourth year.. And then, the second option for the vaccine administration is to coordinate with the City Health Office, the Local Government Unit (LGU) so we can utilize their health workers like what they are doing in the mall. The staff there are from the government unit. And the third option is to get a health service provider, and then the University will pay for the labor and some materials,” he discusses.
“The administration (of the vaccines) will be done or will be handled also by service health providers—it can be one of the hospitals in the city—because they already have the experience on how to do it. So we’ll just pay them per person. They would [sic] come and then will be assisted by our own staff,” Tan adds.
The Novavax vaccines are taken from the University’s emergency funds. “It will be taken from the savings of the University that is intended for emergency situations like the pandemic. So, the budget for that has been approved by the Board of Trustees and it’s ready for release whenever the vaccines will [sic] arrive. So, we have the money prepared—we have the money to purchase the 12,150 doses of Novavax vaccines and we have the money to pay for the service health providers that will administer the vaccines for all the University community members that would be prioritized based on the number of vaccines that would be supplied to us,” Tan explains.
Any excess vaccines will be made available to the students’ immediate family members, XU Alumni, and the public.
Report by Kenneth Melendez
Story by Alyssa Moreno and Reina Villamor
Video by Jean Mika Aporillo, John Ian Bradshaw, and Karl Mykell Tabbay