Davao City hopes to complete vaccination of frontline health workers in 2 weeks

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 March) – The City Government of Davao hopes to complete the vaccination of 16,700 frontline health workers in public and private hospitals in two weeks, City Health Office (CHO) acting head Dr. Ashley Lopez said.

Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) officer-in-charge Dr. Ricardo Audan receives the Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac vaccine administered by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III during the start of the COVID-19 vaccination program at the state-run hospital in Davao City on 5 Mar 2021. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

In his program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday, Lopez said that more frontline health workers are becoming more open to receive the vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

He said 2,000 out of 5,900 workers of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) have already taken the COVID-19 jab since the vaccination rollout started last March 5, and 599 private health workers at the second vaccination site in A. Mabini Elementary School in Barangay Talomo as of Tuesday.

The vaccination site in A. Mabini Elementary School opened last Monday with six vaccination teams. Each team can accommodate 100 health workers a day, according to Lopez.

He said that the city is set to open on Friday its third vaccination site at the Magallanes Elementary School for public health care workers, comprising COVID-19 molecular laboratory personnel, health staff at the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, community health care workers, and doctors, nurses, and midwives of the city government.

He said only three health workers manifested minor adverse effects such as dizziness and allergies shortly after receiving Sinovac vaccines.

Out of the 33,600 doses of Sinovac that were given to Davao Region from the national government, the city has been allocated 20,000 doses intended for 10,000 individuals, according to Lopez.

He said there are 16,800 frontline health workers who need to get vaccinated in the city.

Lopez added that 20,000 doses of vaccines developed by the British firm AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University arrived in the city Wednesday.

He added that AstraZeneca vaccines will be reserved until all Sinovac vaccines will have been used.

Mayor Sara Duterte said last Monday that she wanted to expedite the vaccination of the frontline health workers here against COVID-19 amid potential surge due to the emergence of the highly infectious South African and UK variants in the National Capital Region and Cebu.

“We need to fast-track the vaccination of our health care workers. Although there is a possibility that they would still contract the virus, at least it will just be mild. We need to make sure that they will get vaccinated when they come face-to-face with the virus, so that they will have some sort of protection,” she said.

Even after the local government has managed to control the spike in new COVID-19 cases beginning the first week of February, the mayor said the local government anticipated another surge due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in NCR and Cebu, blamed for the presence of the new variants.

“The places that reported high cases will most likely be the potential source. If there is a source in Metro Manila and Cebu, mostly likely, they will be our sources of cases… because of freedom to travel between cities and municipalities,” Duterte said.

As of March 9, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao Region reported 26 new cases, bringing the total cases to 20,341, with 1,148 active, 18,332 recoveries, and 861 deaths in the region.

Out of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 cases in Mindanao, tallied 13,253 cases, with 585 active, 12,025 recoveries, and 643 deaths. Davao de Oro reported 1,187 cases, Davao del Norte with 3,053, Davao del Sur with 1,373, Davao Occidental with 212, and Davao Oriental with 1,263. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)