Over 30,000 HCWs have yet to get Covid-19 shots

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THE number of healthcare workers (HCWs) who have been vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has increased to 21,441, about 40 percent of the target in Central Visayas, as of March 18, 2021.

Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, Department of Health (DOH 7) spokesperson, said 33,199 other HCWs have yet to receive their Covid-19 shots.

Of those who have been inoculated, 14,254 (two-thirds) received the Sinovac vaccine while 7,187 got the AstraZeneca jab.

“We’re still far from achieving our target. We have to expedite so we can comply and complete so that when the next batch of doses arrive, we can actually start in our sub-grouping,” she said on Friday, March 19, 2021.

Central Visayas received a total of 77,160 doses of the Sinovac vaccine, which will cover 38,580 individuals, and 30,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines that would be good for 15,000 people if the second dose is set aside.

Both Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines are administered in two doses. The second dose for the Sinovac vaccine is given after 28 days while the AstraZeneca vaccine is administered in four to 12 weeks.

So far, Loreche said 25 listed recipients have refused the Sinovac vaccine while inoculation of 285 people was deferred.

Adverse events

There were 251 cases of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) involving Sinovac.

The complaints were: pain at the injection site, 52; rashes, 34; headache, 25; dizziness, 23; fever, 20; and itchiness, 20.

Other AEFIs were sore throat and chest tightness.

Among those who were supposed to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, 134 refused and 246 were deferred. There were 422 cases of AEFI.

Loreche said the most common adverse events were fever and increase in blood pressure followed by rashes, headache and chest tightness.

“The reported AEFIs, so far, are mild in nature, but these have to be closely monitored. You need to be able to observe yourself (to see) if you need to seek consultation,” she said.

Loreche said HCWs from private institutions who need hospitalization for AEFI may be admitted in government facilities such as the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital, and St. Anthony Mother and Child Hospital.

They may also opt to be admitted in private facilities and claim PhilHealth benefits. Any excess would have to be shouldered by the patient.

Loreche said a total of 58 healthcare facilities have already been allocated with Sinovac vaccines.

Of these, 24 have finished administering the first dose to their HCWs.

Some of these hospitals are the VSMMC, Cebu Velez General Hospital, Visayan Community Medical Center, Cebu North General Hospital, Cebu South General Hospital, University of Cebu Medical Center and Perpetual Succour Hospital (PSH).

Loreche also said 45 other facilities were given the AstraZeneca vaccine, including the PSH, Allied Care Expert Medical Center in Bohol, and the Maribojoc Community Hospital among others.

Talisay City

Vaccination of medical frontliners in Talisay City began at 7 a.m. Friday, Mayor Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. said in his official Facebook page.

He said they received 430 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines and 230 Sinovac vaccines from DOH 7.

These were initially part of the allocation for Talisay District Hospital (TDH). Since all hospital staff have received their first dose, TDH and DOH 7 decided to donate the remaining stocks to the Talisay City government.

“I would like to thank our Talisay District Hospital and DOH for allotting their stocks to the City. We consider this a huge debt of gratitude,” Gullas said in a statement.

He said the vaccines will be administered first to doctors, midwives, nurses, members of the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs), swabbing teams, disinfection teams, local disaster team, contact tracers and other health workers.

Gullas urged the City’s medical personnel to get vaccinated, noting that doctors in private and public hospitals have received the first dose already.

“My confidence in the vaccine increased when I saw my doctors, whom I trust with my life, get vaccinated,” he said.

Cebu City

In Cebu City, the City Government simulated the vaccination process Friday for over 1,000 barangay health workers (BHWs) from the 80 barangays.

Mayor Edgardo Labella, who led the simulation, said it was a good exercise to prepare the recipients and ensure that the process will be smooth during the actual implementation of the vaccination program.

“This is a very good practice — this simulation — to ensure that everybody will know what to do. Our city health workers are also trained. I am very happy that they are here. We will echo this to the other multiplier personnel who will be involved in the vaccination process,” Labella said.

The City has set up a vaccination site at the Our Lourdes Parish Don Bosco Youth Center in Brgy. Punta Princesa for the BHWs from the 34 barangays in the south district.

In the north district, the vaccination site will be at the Robinsons Galleria Cebu in the Cebu North Reclamation Area. This will cater to the BHWs from 46 barangays. (WBS / JKV / PAC)