More frontliners get jabs as additional doses arrive

·4 min read

THE Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command (Centcom) and University of Cebu Medical Center (UCMed) have begun vaccinations against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

This, as more vaccines arrived in Cebu on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.

As of Wednesday, 32,540 doses of Sinovac vaccine and 30,000 doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine have arrived in Cebu for distribution to healthcare workers in Central Visayas.

A total of 1,754 individuals have been inoculated as of March 9, as follows: 503 in the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Medical Center (GCGMMC) in Bohol; 208 in Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital; 61 in Cebu Velez General Hospital; 880 in Chong Hua Hospital in Cebu City; 75 in Perpetual Succour Hospital Cebu; and 27 in Visayas Community Medical Center.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, Department of Health (DOH) 7 spokesperson, said 106,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines are needed to fully vaccinate 53,000 healthcare workers in hospitals, rural health units, and temporary treatment and monitoring facilities regionwide. Each vaccine is administered in two doses at least four weeks apart.

“We have 62,000 so 50,000 more doses needed,” Loreche said.

Of the Sinovac vaccines that arrived, 7,200 doses were sent to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) on March 2; 17,480 doses to private and other government-owned hospitals in Cebu on March 4; 2,860 doses were transported directly from Manila to the GCGMMC in Bohol on March 5; and 5,000 doses were delivered to the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital on March 8.

The 30,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived March 10 are stored at the DOH cold room for sorting, inventory, and matching of masterlist and allocation list before distribution.


As of 11 a.m. March 10, 2,379 have been vaccinated out of the 2,673 VSMMC personnel who are willing to be inoculated.

Of those vaccinated, only 64 experienced mild adverse events. No serious adverse event was reported.

Maj. Eduardo Precioso, Jr., Centcom public information officer, said in a press statement that 2,446 uniformed and civilian personnel are set to be vaccinated within a month at the rate of 100 individuals per day.

At the UCMed, hospital president Candice Gotianuy received the first Sinovac shot on March 10.

Fifty frontliners agreed to be inoculated on the first day of vaccinations at the hospital. DOH 7 allocated 1,230 vaccine doses for UCMed. The vaccination program will run for seven days.

At the new building of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), a ceremonial vaccination for 88 recipients was held March 10.

Cebu City Health Department (CHD) officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said more than 600 personnel in health facilities managed by the Cebu City Government have agreed to be inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine.

Of the total, 223 personnel are from the CHD while around 400 are from the CCMC, Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC) and Guba Hospital, according to CCMC Administrator Yvonne Feliciano.

She said 529 doses of Sinovac vaccine were allocated for CCMC personnel, including her.

There are around 800 doctors and nurses currently working in City-managed healthcare facilities.

Feliciano said she merely experience an elevated blood pressure due to anxiety after vaccination. No one reported any adverse effect.


Meanwhile, Gotianuy said UCMed is procuring vaccines from Sinovac, Moderna and Novavax aside from the almost 2,000 doses of AZ vaccine that have been committed by the manufacturer.

“We hope that by getting four different vaccines of around 2,000 each, we can jumpstart the Cebu economy,” Gotianuy said.

Half of the AZ vaccines will be donated to frontline workers in the government, including those in Mandaue City, UCMed’s host community.

Gotianuy said the rest will go to their teachers and other essential workers.

“We really have to get the economy and Cebu back on track. Most of these vaccines have been peer-reviewed or doctor-approved. Even Department of Health (DOH)-approved,” she said.

Gotianuy said she met with some doctors to discuss the Sinovac vaccine before she got inoculated on Wednesday.

“I said let’s do it because we can’t afford to be choosy at this point. I wanted to show them (medical fronliners) because there’s been so much controversy about Sinovac so I took it and maybe they’ll also take it as well. So I’m hoping that’ll boost a little bit of confidence,” she said.

UC is among the companies that have signed tripartite supply agreements with AstraZeneca and the national government. (WBS / JJL / JOB)