Only 51.4% of health care workers in Central Visayas have been vaccinated

·3 min read

A TOTAL of 45,762 of the 89,017 target number of health care workers in Central Visayas have been vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as of Wednesday, March 24, 2021.

Of this number, 19,491 were injected with the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine, said Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, Department of Health (DOH) 7 spokesperson.

The region has received 80,760 doses of China-made Sinovac vaccine, which are good for two doses per individual, and 30,000 doses of AZ to be used as first dose.

“The deadline for the use of the AZ vaccine was supposed to be last Wednesday, but we are just giving them a deadline to push our health care workers to get vaccinated. But apparently, we still have a good output. We hope we can finish vaccinating those in subgroup A1 (medical and health personnel) this month,” she said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

She said 17 health care facilities regionwide have used up all their allocated AZ vaccines, including the Cebu Provincial Hospital in Balamban, Badian District Hospital, Barili District Hospital, Siquijor Provincial Hospital and Lazi Medicare Provincial Hospital.

The first batch of AZ vaccines that arrived in the country will expire in May.

Loreche said 74 health care workers flat out refused to be injected with the Sinovac vaccine, while 493 refused to be inoculated with the AZ vaccine.

She said the total deferral for Sinovac is 927 and for AZ is 787.

She said the critical care utilization rate for private hospitals in Cebu is 40.7 percent.

Private hospitals in Cebu allocated 855 Covid beds of which only 348 are occupied.

Meanwhile, the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) announced that it will receive 100,000 doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine by the third or last quarter of the year.

The 100,000 doses are part of the promised 20 million doses that the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) Foundation will acquire to vaccinate workers in the private sector.

The ICTSI Foundation will donate 13 million doses to the national government.

“If an employer is willing to spend, that means they have confidence in the vaccine. It will reduce the fear of the vaccine,” said Steven Yu, MCCI president.

He said 50,000 workers will benefit from this allocation.

A firm caught selling the vaccine to its workers will be blacklisted by the ICTSI Foundation, he said.

“They (ICTSI Foundation) are spending their money and giving it out for free,” he said.

Yu said they will follow the government’s order of prioritization in inoculating workers.

He said they plan to coordinate with the government during vaccination, but majority of businesses are willing to do it themselves.

He said they will tap accredited private medical centers to help them with the inoculation so as not to burden the government.

Ernie Manatad, chairman of the Mandaue City Vaccine Board and Association of Barangay Councils president, said workers in the private sector are included in their masterlist of those who will be vaccinated. But if they avail themselves of their company’s vaccination program, then they will be removed from the list.

On Monday, March 22, the national government announced that private companies are now allowed to procure Covid-19 vaccines, after it released implementing rules and regulations (IRR). The purchase will be a tripartite agreement that will involve the company, the national government and the vaccine manufacturer.

While the MCCI is evaluating the IRR, Yu said they will focus on the ICTSI Foundation in the procurement of the Moderna vaccine. (WBS, KFD)