A NEW batch of vaccines arrived at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in the morning of Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
The vaccines, which included the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, were immediately transported to the cold chain storage facility of the Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH 7).
A total of 132,000 doses of AstraZeneca and 29,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines arrived.
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson, told Sunstar Cebu the AZ Covid-19 vaccines will be allocated for the second dose of those who already got their first dose of the brand, while the remaining AZ vaccines will be administered to other priority subgroups as their first dose.
The previous allocation of AstraZeneca vaccine received by DOH 7 was 30,000 doses.
Meanwhile, the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine will be allocated to highly urbanized cities (HUCs) as these cities are capable of providing the logistics and cold chain requirement of the vaccine, said Loreche.
The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine needs to be stored in a cold chain facility with a temperature of negative 70 to negative 80 degrees centigrade.
Loreche explained that one vial of Pfizer is good for six individual doses.
Once they start to administer one dose from a vial, the rest need to be administered within five hours to prevent spoilage, said Loreche.
She said Pfizer will be administered to medical healthcare workers (A1), senior citizens (A2), and persons with comorbidities (A3) subgroups aged 16 years old and above.
Since Pfizer is a new vaccine, Loreche said the DOH will still determine the process of releasing the vaccines.
As of May 11, 2021, the DOH 7 has received a total of 395,960 doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
Of the number, 204,960 were Sinovac, 162,000 AstraZeneca and 29,000 Pfizer.
The Visayas Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) recorded that as of May 10, a total of 87,215 individuals belonging to the eligible population priority A1 had been vaccinated with the first dose.
There are 48,206 remaining A1 that still have to get their first dose.
Loreche also said there are 38,836 A1 priority individuals who have completed the two doses of the Covid-19 vaccination, as of May 10.
For the A2 priority group, out of 586,231 senior citizens on the master list, only 20,941 had been vaccinated with the first dose as of May 10.
A total of 2,902 mild adverse events for both Sinovac (1,577) and AstraZeneca (1,325) were recorded in Central Visayas by the DOH 7 as of May 10.
Two serious adverse events were also recorded for Sinovac.
In Lapu-Lapu City, officials temporarily suspended their vaccine rollout after using up 1,000 doses given by the DOH 7.
Though another 1,000 vaccine doses were left, the remaining allocation will be used next week for the second dose of medical frontliners and senior citizens who had been inoculated last month, officials said.
Lapu-Lapu City Health Officer Agnes Realiza said the sudden rise in the number of senior citizens that availed themselves of the vaccines on Monday, May 10, contributed to the temporary suspension of the vaccine rollout.
The sudden increase was due to a City Government initiative of bringing the elderly to the vaccination site in droves.
Last week, Lapu-Lapu City officials noticed that only a few senior citizens were lining up for their Covid-19 jabs.
Meanwhile, the Mandaue City Vaccine Board started the orientation of barangay healthcare workers for the implementation of its information, education, communication (EIC) campaign as part of the City’s vaccination program.
The first orientation attended by workers from Barangays Bakilid, Banilad and Subangdaku was held on Tuesday, May 11 at the Barangay Subangdaku gym.
The vaccine board tapped the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. to facilitate the orientation program.
Ernie Manatad, Vaccine Board chairman and Association of Barangay Captains president, said the IEC campaign plays an important role in changing the mindset of people as many still fear being inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine.
Tats Samson, the IEC campaign main facilitator from Rafi’s Humanitarian Disaster Preparedness and Response, said the orientation will train healthcare workers to facilitate community meetings, orientations and consultations on the vaccines, and the vaccination program.
Samson said they will use the familiarity and access of healthcare workers to relay information to the community. (GCM)