DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 March) – A total of 12,000 doses of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines developed by Sinovac of China arrived at the Davao International Airport on Tuesday morning via commercial flight of the Philippine Airlines (PAL).
Dr. Ashley Lopez, Davao City Health Office (CHO) head, said in a text message that the vaccination program here will officially kick off on March 5 at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) with National Task Force Against COVID 19-Chief Implementer Carlito G. Galvez Jr. and Health Secretary Francisco Duque.
The frontline workers of SPMC will be the first to receive the vaccines from Sinovac.
Dr. Lenny Joy Rivera, Department of Health (DOH)-Davao assistant regional director, said the ceremonial vaccination will be conducted at the government-run hospital, the primary medical institution that caters to COVID-19 patients in the city.
She said that the initial doses will benefit a total of 6,000 frontline workers.
SPMC officer-in-charge Ricardo Audan said on Monday that around 4,000 out of the 5,900 hospital workers have signed up in advance to get vaccinated, but this was after being told that the vaccine that will be administered on them will be either Pfizer of the United States or AstraZeneca of the United Kingdom.
But he believed that there is no change of heart among its workers, who volunteered for the vaccination, even after learning that the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines will be that of Sinovac.
He said he will be the first one to receive the Sinovac vaccine to shore up the confidence of the SPMC workers.
A total of 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines of Sinovac arrived in the country last Sunday.The city government has listed a total of 16,677 health workers, 77,189 senior citizens, 432,549 indigents, and 5,258 security personnel in the priority list of the local government, according to Lopez.
The local government here targets to vaccinate around 1.2 million people to achieve herd immunity.
As of March 1, the Department of Health-Davao Region reported six new cases, bringing the total cases to 19,999, with 1,440 active, 17,716 recoveries, and 843 deaths in the region.
Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 13,094 cases, with 756 active, 11,703 recoveries, and 635 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,153 cases, Davao del Norte with 2,959, Davao del Sur with 1,346, Davao Occidental with 211, and Davao Oriental with 1,236. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)