VACCINATIONS against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are expected to resume in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue next week, with the arrival of 56,000 additional doses of the Sinovac vaccine Friday morning, April 30, 2021.
Dr. Jaime Bernadas, Department of Health (DOH) 7 director, said the additional vaccines will be administered to Priority Groups A1 (healthcare workers), A2 (senior citizens), A3 (persons with comorbidities) and A4 (essential workers) in Central Visayas.
“A shipment of 56,000 doses of Sinovac arrived at the CHD (Center for Health Development) 7. Cebu City will get its share,” Bernadas told SunStar Cebu in a text message.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson, said an inventory was being conducted Friday. The vaccines should be ready for distribution to the 257 vaccination sites in the region
This latest shipment arrived a day after the Philippines took delivery of the fourth batch of government-procured vaccines from Sinovac Biotech in China.
It brought the total number of doses delivered to Central Visayas to 234,560, including the 178,560 doses of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived earlier.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama, lead convener of the Vaccine Advisory Board (VAB), said Bernadas informed him that Cebu City will get an additional 10,000 doses on May 1.
He said vaccination of senior citizens will resume in the first week of May. The City will also begin inoculating persons with comorbidities.
Rama said the VAB had decided to serve senior citizens in the morning and persons with comorbidities in the afternoon.
Rama also said a massive information drive will be conducted in all 80 barangays next week. Some councilors are expected to join the campaign.
“(The) City Government (is) going down to the barangays — for purposes of bringing attention, encouragement and enticement — pabakuna ta (let’s get the vaccine),” said Rama.
Cebu City Health Department (CHD) officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said they were prepared to resume the vaccination anytime.
As of Friday, 28,378 senior citizens and 31,669 persons with comorbidities have registered online, according to the Vaccine Operations Center (VOC).
Vaccinations were conducted at the University of Cebu (UC) Banilad, Robinsons Galleria Cebu and SM Seaside City Cebu.
Loreche said health workers will still be accommodated along with the senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.
She said that as of April 28, there were still 43,823 health workers who had not received their first dose.
Some of them had refused, while others failed the screening.
Loreche said the shots intended for these health workers were administered to senior citizens.
She assured, however, that health workers would be given the vaccine as soon as they were ready.
According to the Regional Vaccination Operations Center (RVOC), 87,958 out of the 131,781 healthcare workers in Central Visayas have been inoculated as of April 28.
Of the 87,958, more than a third or 32,083 have also received their second dose.
As of April 29, the Philippines has taken delivery of 4,025,600 doses of vaccines.
The latest shipment consisted of 500,000 Sinovac doses, which arrived via Cebu Pacific at 7:35 a.m. Thursday, April 29, at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.
It was the fourth batch of government-procured vaccines from Sinovac. It brought the total number of Sinovac doses received by the Philippines to 3.5 million, including the one million doses donated by the Chinese government.
The Philippines also received 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, 30,000 of which went to Central Visayas. The AstraZeneca vaccines were donated through the Covax
Of the 4.025 million, more than 1.8 million have been administered as of April 27, consisting of 1,562,815 first dose and 246,986 second dose.
About a third of these shots went to the National Capital Region (NCR), epicenter of the Covid-19 epidemic in the country.
National Task Force Against Covid-19 records show that 609,710 NCR residents have received their first dose. Among these recipients, 82,041 have also received their second dose. (JJL / KFD / WBS / SunStar Philippines)