CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella said vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has assured him of additional vaccines as soon as another shipment of 500,000 doses of CoronaVac arrives on April 22, 2021.
Labella showed Galvez’s text message about the additional vaccines to members of the media on Friday, April 16, 2021.
In his message, Galvez also apologized to Labella, saying vaccines are still very limited in the country.
Labella said he had asked Galvez for additional supply to allow the City Health Department (CHD) to begin vaccinating senior citizens aged 60 and above.
As of Friday, Labella said the CHD only had around 600 vials of CoronaVac left. Each vial is good for one dose. CoronaVac is the inactivated vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) from Sinovac.
The number of senior citizens who have registered for vaccination has increased to 23,000, about 27 percent of the estimated 85,000 senior citizens residing in the city.
CHD officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said 10,000 senior citizens signed up during the houseto-house campaign of the Department of Social Welfare and Services (DSWS). The rest registered online.
Ibones said the number of senior citizens may still decrease as the CHD has yet to verify the master list to ensure no duplication.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama said the City is ready to administer the vaccines to senior citizens. He hoped this would happen by next week.
He also said the senior citizens may receive their vaccines at the various vaccination sites instead of hospitals.
The Vaccine Advisory Board (VAB) had planned to administer the vaccine to senior citizens in hospitals to ensure that any adverse event would be immediately addressed.
Rama said the board had met with the hospital representatives and asked them instead to deploy manpower to the city’s vaccination sites.
Senior citizens, who comprise Priority Group A2, are eligible for vaccination along with the health workers under Group A1 and persons with comorbidities under Group A3.
As of Friday, Ibones said, almost 6,000 out of the estimated 7,000 health workers on Cebu City’s vaccine list have been inoculated.
Central Visayas Regionwide, Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH 7) spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said a total of 76,106 individuals have received their first dose as of April 15 while 14,541 among them have also received their second dose.
Of the total, 45,985 were vaccinated with Sinovac and 30,121 were vaccinated with AstraZeneca.
DOH 7 received only 30,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, but Loreche said there were excess doses when the vials were opened.
“Upon aspiration, some vials contained more than 10 doses. Some sites vaccinated 11 to 12 individuals using one vial, hence the excess of 121,” Loreche explained.
Loreche said DOH 7 recorded 2,069 cases of adverse events following immunization (AEFI), including one which was severe.
Among the AEFIs were 736 cases involving those who received the first dose of Sinovac and 1,246 cases among those who had the first AstraZeneca dose. There were also 87 cases among those who got the second Sinovac dose.
Meanwhile, the Project Balik Buhay (PBB) administered vaccines to 600 medical frontliners, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.
The vaccinations took place in Chong Hua Hospital in Mandaue City, Cebu Doctors’ Hospital in Cebu City and Allegiant Regional Care Hospital in Lapu-Lapu City, Loreche said.
She said the 600 recipients were on the lists submitted by private companies. The final list was approved by the DOH 7 and the local government units (LGU) concerned.
Loreche said DOH 7 has approved the vaccination sites designated by the PBB.
“This is in preparation for the mass vaccination once the supplies arrive,” she said.
The vaccines used by the PBB were sourced from the additional 44,400 doses of Sinovac that DOH 7 received on April 14. (JJL/WBS/JOB)