MORE than 50,000 health workers in Central Visayas have received the first dose of Sinovac or AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as of Friday, March 26, 2021.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, Department of Health (DOH) 7 spokesperson, said they have updated their database and found that 51,635 health workers belonging to Group A1 of the government’s Covid-19 prioritization framework have been partially vaccinated.
This is around 43.7 percent of the updated target of 117,973 healthcare workers in the region.
Loreche said the 89,017 initial target consisted only of medical personnel from levels 1, 2, and 3 private and government hospitals that handle Covid-19 patients.
The entire Priority Group A1 includes health workers from seven sub-priority groups, namely: (A1.1) Covid-19 referral hospitals; (A1.2) public and private hospitals and infirmaries providing Covid-19 care; (A1.3) isolation and quarantine facilities; (A1.4) remaining facilities including those of uniformed services not catering to Covid-19 cases; (A1.5) government-owned primary care based facilities; (A1.6) standalone facilities, clinics, diagnostic centers and other facilities otherwise not specified (such as dialysis centers and dental clinics among others); and (A1.7) closed institutions and settings like jails, detention centers and orphanages, among others.
As of 2 p.m. of March 25, Loreche said 25,921 individuals from Group A1 have been vaccinated with Sinovac while 20,036 others received the AZ vaccine.
There were a total of 1,007 minor adverse events following immunization (AEFI). No serious AEFI cases were reported, Loreche said.
She said no additional vaccine supplies have reached the region.
As of March 18, Central Visayas has received 110,760 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including 80,760 Sinovac doses and 30,000 AZ doses.
The Sinovac vaccines will cover the entire regimen of two doses while the AZ vaccines will be administered as first dose to ensure that these are used before expiry.
Of the total, 104,405 doses were allocated to 199 vaccination sites, as follows: 49,061 doses to 71 vaccination sites in Cebu; 39,210 doses to 81 vaccination sites in Bohol; 10,970 doses to 40 vaccination sites in Negros Oriental; and 5,164 doses to seven vaccination sites in Siquijor.
Loreche said Cebu has, so far, achieved the highest vaccine utilization rate of 52.81 percent, or 25,912 of its allocated doses.
Cebu is followed by Bohol with a utilization rate of 50.81 percent, Negros Oriental with 37.35 percent, and Siquijor with 33 percent.
The utilization rate is expected to increase further in Cebu as 180 more vials of AZ vaccine were sent to Cebu City at around 12:30 p.m. Friday, March 26. Each vial contains 10 doses.
Cebu City Health Department (CHD) officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said they used up the first batch of vaccines allocated to them during their three-day vaccination campaign.
He said 673 individuals were vaccinated on March 24 and an additional 887 on March 25 in both vaccination sites at the University of Cebu Banilad campus and Robinsons Galleria Cebu.
There were 120 doses left for the third day, which were used to vaccinate CHD personnel who implemented the vaccination program.
Ibones said the number of medical workers and barangay health workers (BHWs) who have registered for vaccination has increased to nearly 5,000.
Cebu City Councilor David Tumulak, one of the cluster heads in Vaccine Advisory Board (VAB), said vaccinations were held only at the UC Banilad on the third day.
He said he immediately called DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas to ask for additional supplies as soon as the vaccines were used up.
“We need additional vials since a lot of people were waiting to be vaccinated in UC Banilad,” said Tumulak.
Vaccinations will resume on Monday, March 29, in both UC Banilad and Robinsons Galleria.
Meanwhile, the Bayanihan Cebu International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) Field Center and swabbing center at the IEC Convention Center Cebu (IC3) will close by the end of March 2021.
The area will be converted into a vaccination site in partnership with the Project Balik Buhay, the Bayanihan Cebu PH said in an advisory on Friday.
Bernadas said their contract with the Archdiocese of Cebu, which owns the IC3 facility, ends this month.
“So, we are monitoring our TTMFs (temporary treatment and monitoring facilities). So far, it (occupancy) has been low as of the moment. (We) Still have more beds in other TTMFs,” Bernadas told SunStar Cebu in a text message on Friday.
“Transformation of the IEC is conditional as per arrangement with the Archdiocese. If the number of people requiring isolation is low, we proceed to convert it to a vaccination post,” he added.
In the past 10 months of its operation, the Bayanihan Cebu IEC Field Center provided care for 568 patients, who have all recovered, and provided 37,322 free swab testing services. ( WBS / JJL)