GenSan to start vaccination of health care workers

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 05 March) – Local health authorities are targeting to start within the next two to three days the inoculation of over 3,000 priority health care workers in the city with the Sinovac vaccines.

General Santos City. Photo courtesy of General Santos CIty FB page

Dr. Ryan Aplicador, deputy incident commander of the City Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases, said Friday they are all set for the rollout of the vaccination, which will be conducted in six referral hospitals in the area for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

He said they expect the delivery of the vaccines anytime on Saturday based on an advisory from the Department of Health (DOH)-Region 12.

A total of 17,940 vials of Sinovac vaccines for Region 12 (Soccsksargen) arrived before noon Friday at the Awang airport in Maguindanao and were brought to the cold storage facility of the DOH-12 in Cotabato City.

“We will start the vaccination either on Sunday or Monday, depending on the availability of the recipients,” Aplicador told reporters.

The City Health Office, in coordination with DOH-12, conducted on Friday a series of simulation exercises in preparation for the vaccination activities.

At least six vaccination sites were established within the compounds of the city’s six Covid-19 referral facilities — the local government-run Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital (DJPRH), St. Elizabeth Hospital, General Santos Doctor’s Hospital, Socsargen County Hospital, Mindanao Medical Center and GenSan Medical Center.

The local government has set up a cold storage facility for the vaccines at the city gymnasium in Barangay Lagao.

Aplicador, who is also the hospital chief of the DJPRH, said they successfully simulated at least two scenarios for the actual vaccination, specifically with the vaccines already available onsite and another with the supplies coming from the cold storage facility.

He said they also tested the screening process and accurately detected a hospital worker who has just recovered from Covid-19 and ineligible from getting the vaccine for 90 days.

The official said about half of the 542 identified priority DJPRH workers for the vaccination has already signified to get the vaccines as of Friday.

He admitted that some are still having second thoughts about getting them and preferred the other vaccine brands.

“We’re continually encouraging our workers to get vaccinated now so we expect that number to increase once we start with the inoculation,” he said. (MindaNews)