At least 12,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines arrived at the Davao International Airport on Tuesday (March 2, 2021) morning.
Dr. Annabelle Yumang, Department of Health-Davao Region (DOH-11) director, said Sinovac’s CoronaVac doses would be allocated to the region’s health workers, particularly those working in Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), Mindanao’s largest government-run hospital.
“The eligible population of our health care workers to get vaccinated is around 8,000, so we have a spare of 4,000 doses which will be used on their second dose. We will request another 4,000 vaccines for it to be completed,” Yumang said.
She said the first doses will be administered to the health workers on March 5 and the next dose will be after 28 days.
Upon arrival at the airport, the vaccines were brought to the DOH-11’s cold storage facility for safekeeping.
“It is safe there, and we have an appropriate room to make sure that it is secured,” Yumang said.
Meanwhile, SPMC officer-in-charge, Dr. Ricardo Audan, said most of their health workers have committed to getting vaccinated.
“Based on our survey yesterday (March 1), 72 to 75 percent of the health workers here agreed to get vaccinated,” Audan said, adding that 150 health workers would be inoculated per day.
He expressed confidence in the hospital’s vaccination protocols, noting that they have already conducted two vaccine simulations.
“If you can recall, the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team was impressed with our readiness,” he said.
Audan said a final simulation will be held on Wednesday.
Audan volunteered to be the first to get vaccinated to show other health workers that the vaccine is safe and effective.
“I have to be a role model, and I have to show to the people that the vaccine is safe or any vaccine intended for public use is safe. That is the best way to convince them,” he said.
Yumang, on the other hand, said she would also get her first dose on March 5, and urged her fellow health workers to get vaccinated “since they are the front-liners and directly exposed to the coronavirus disease.”
The country started its Covid-19 vaccination program Monday (March 1) using part of the 600,000 doses of CoronaVac vaccines donated by the Chinese government. (PNA)