600 VSMMC workers to get Sinovac this March 4

By: Morexette Marie Erram - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 02,2021 - 10:08 AM

At least 7,200 doses of CoronaVac by SinovacĀ arrived in Cebu on March 2. | Photo courtesy of Radyo Pilipinas – Cebu

CEBU CITY, Philippines – At least 600 healthcare workers at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) are expected to receive Sinovac’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccines this Thursday, March 4.

Cebu on Tuesday, March 2, received its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccines from the Department of Health (DOH).

At least 7,200 doses of CoronaVac by Sinovac arrived at Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) at 7:40 a.m. on board a Philippine Airlines flight.

These were immediately transported to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City where these will be stored.

Health officials confirmed that a “ceremonial kickstart of the COVID-19 inoculation program” in Cebu will be held this Thursday.

Among those who volunteered to take part were VSMMC chief Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr. and Retired General Mel Feliciano, deputy chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) in the Visayas.

Aquino said that at least 600 of their healthcare workers have expressed their intention to be inoculated with Sinovac this Thursday.

But he admitted that the numbers dropped when hospital workers learned of the changes for Cebu’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

“We have 600 workers who already gave their informed consent. Initially, there were 2,900 [who wanted to be inoculated] but [there were] changes in the plans, especially when they learned that Pfizer won’t be the first to arrive. Some hesitated and were worried,” Aquino said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Healthcare workers of VSMMC are the first to be administered with COVID-19 vaccines for Cebu.

On the other hand, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), said they are expecting another batch of Sinovac to be delivered in Cebu next week.

“What we have right now, the 7,200 doses, these are initial doses. We are expecting another batch to arrive, around 7,800 doses, this March 8,” Loreche told members of the media.

The Sinovac delivered in Cebu is part of the 600,000 doses the Chinese government donated to the Philippines.

Cebu is among the country’s priority areas for its COVID-19 inoculation drive. /dcb

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TAGS: 600 VSMMC workers to get Sinovac, DOH, March 4, vaccines arrive in Cebu

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