Cebu to also receive AstraZeneca vaccines
CEBU CITY, Philippines — As part of the priority areas of the national government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) inoculation drive, Cebu is expected to receive vaccines from British drugmaker AstraZeneca.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed this in a press briefing at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) on Thursday, March 4.
“Meron po yan (para sa Cebu). Sigurado po yun meron… Ang Cebu is a priority area in terms of the cases (of COVID-19),” said Roque.
(There will be for Cebu. That’s for sure. Cebu is a priority area in terms of COVID-19 cases.)
Roque also announced during the same presser that 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine are scheduled to arrive in the Philippines at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
He said the vials are being transported via a KLM flight from Belgium.
“Kompirmadong nakasakay na sa eroplano (It’s confirmed that the vaccines are now being transported in an airplane),” Roque told members of the media.
The Malacañang official was in Cebu City on Thursday as one of the guests for the ceremonial COVID-19 vaccination event at VSMMC.
It was the first COVID-19 inoculation program that took place in the Visayas-Mindanao area and occurred nearly a year after the country reported its first confirmed cases of the infection.
Local health officials in Central Visayas said at least 50 healthcare workers from VSMMC received their first dose of CoronaVac by China’s Sinovac on Thursday.
Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., medical chief of VSMMC, was the first to be administered the first dose of the vaccine.
Other hospital chiefs such as Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), Dr. Juanito Tiu of St. Anthony Mother and Child Hospital, and Dr. Pythagoras Zerna of Eversley Child Sanitarium and General Hospital were also inoculated.
All doctors did not experience any adverse effects an hour after receiving the first shot of Sinovac on Thursday.
As of March 3, 1,245 medical workers of VSMMC wanted to volunteer for the national government’s COVID-19 vaccination drive.
Hospital authorities said they were expecting the numbers to go higher in the next few days.
Meanwhile, DOH-7 Director Dr. Jaime Bernadas said healthcare workers in the region had the right to choose which COVID-19 vaccine brand they would prefer.
“Vaccination is always a choice. If they are willing to wait for AstraZeneca, that is their right and we respect that,” Bernadas said in Cebuano.
However, the DOH-7 top official said they were still waiting for further updates in relation to the shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines for Cebu.
“We still don’t have any definitive information on AstraZeneca. We just received news that these are arriving (on March 4), but as to how much will be allocated for Cebu, we have no data available yet,” Bernadas explained.
7,200 doses of CoronaVac are the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine that arrived in Cebu.
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