Sarangani to start vaccinating gov’t workers

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 16 August) – Health authorities in Sarangani province are targeting to start next week the inoculation of government workers in the area against COVID-19.

Ma. Hazel Bustria, the immunization program coordinator of the Provincial Health Office, said around 700 employees have signified to avail of the vaccines and were included in the master list of recipients under priority group A4.

FIRST DOSE. Roxan Siason, a Department of Health nurse in Sarangani Province, extracts the first dose of the Sinovac-made vaccine, CoronaVac, to be administered on medical frontliners on Sunday, March 7, 2021, a day ahead of the regional schedule. MindaNews photo by ROMMEL G. REBOLLIDO

She said the list includes employees of the local government and those under various national agencies based at the capitol compound in Alabel town.

“We are only waiting for the go-signal from the DOH (Department of Health) national and regional offices so we can proceed with the vaccination,” she said in a statement.

Bustria said the vaccination activities in the province are currently focused on priority groups A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidities), especially those in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

Government employees are under the A4 category, which specifically covers workers in the private and public sectors, household workers, self-employed individuals, informal sector workers who physically report to their workplaces, and those deployed or assigned to perform fieldwork.

She said there are some employees under priority groups A2, A3, and A4 who were already inoculated in their home barangays and municipalities.

The province has already vaccinated most of its front-line health care workers and other eligible individuals under priority group A1 since the start of its rollout in March.

The official said many employees signified to get inoculated against COVID-19 following a virtual orientation conducted by the local government and the DOH provincial office last month.

She said they tackled the required processes during vaccination, the benefits of being fully vaccinated, and the risks of getting infected with the disease.

Dr. Shahrir Dulduco, DOH-Sarangani provincial director, earlier said the vaccines are the only defense of residents against severe COVID-19 infection.

“This has been clinically proven to protect the people from the virus,” he said.

He clarified that with the thousands of deaths recorded in the country related to COVID-19, “no one has so far died due to vaccines.”

As of Sunday night, Sarangani has the second-lowest active COVID-19 cases in Region 12 with 506.

The confirmed infections in the area since last year have already reached a total of 3,497, with 46 related deaths, both the lowest in the region. Some 2,944 patients have so far recovered from the disease. (MindaNews)

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