Sarangani medical frontliners inoculated a day ahead of regional sked

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 07 March) —  Health workers in nearby Sarangani Province received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine on Sunday, a day ahead of a scheduled simultaneous inoculation in Region 12.

There was a festive mood at the Sarangani Provincial Health Facility, venue for the inoculation of  health care frontliners.

Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Sarangani Provincial Health Officer, said they listed 336 health care workers to be inoculated with CoronaVac, the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China’s Sinovac Biotech.

FIRST INOCULATION. A Department of Health nurse administers the first dose of the Sinovac-made vaccine, CoronaVac, on Dr. Aileen Brion, head of the Sarangani Health Care Facility in Alabel town as a fellow physician looks on. Brion is the first to receive the vaccine in Region 12 as Sarangani health authorities decided to proceed with the inoculation a day ahead of the regional schedule. MindaNews photo by ROMMEL G. REBOLLIDO

The vaccine recipients come from two COVID19 referral hospitals in the province – the Sarangani Provincial Hospital in Alabel town and the Dr. Cornelio Martinez Sr. Memorial Hospital in Kiamba town.

Immunization program coordinator Maria Razel Bustria said 162 health workers come from the provincial health facility in Alabel town, while 174 are in the facility in Kiamba.

Alejandro said as the inoculation went on Sunday morning, at least 11 of the supposed recipients opted to defer vaccination. No reasons were cited.

After vaccination, the health workers were asked to stay for an hour for observation.

A frontliner who reportedly manifested an adverse reaction to the vaccine was immediately attended to by physicians who were on standby. The unidentified worker complained of dizziness and skin rashes.

Minutes after taking the jab himself, Alejandro told Inquirer he only felt a slight pain in the area where he was injected. “It is like the pain when you get injected with anti-tetanus,” he said.

Arjohn Gangoso, health education and promotion officer of the Department of Health in Region 12, earlier said there are in all 9,000 health workers in 23 COVID-19 referral hospitals in the region, who are targeted for vaccination.

He said a good number of the workers are reluctant to take the jab.

In this city, health officials expect to inoculate Monday, March 8 until March 14, at least 3,138 health personnel with the Covid19 vaccines developed by Sinovac Biotech of China. The number include health personnel and medical front liners in six private and government referral hospitals.

Dr. Rochelle Oco of the city health office, said the vaccine recipients will come from the following referral hospitals in the city: Mindanao Medical Center, Inc. with 380 employees; Gensan Medical center with 343 employees; St. Elizabeth Hospital, Inc. with 697 employees; General Santos Doctors Hospital, Inc. 527; Socsargen County Hospital with 521 employees.

The government-run Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital will also get their share of vaccines for their 670 personnel.  (Rommel G. Rebollido / MindaNews)