By Lade Jean Kabagani
CHINA DONATES VACCINES. Boxes of Chinese government-donated coronavirus vaccines produced by Sinovac Biotech pharmaceutical firm arrive in PH on Sunday (Feb.28, 2021). The actual inoculation of Filipinos under the government’s priority list will begin this Monday (March 1). (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– The actual inoculation of Filipinos under the government’s priority list will begin this Monday (March 1), following the arrival of 600,000 doses of China-donated Covid-19 vaccines made by Sinovac Biotech pharmaceutical firm in the country, National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Sunday.
“As we ramp up our preparations for the vaccine rollout, we call on all our countrymen to take part in this massive and historic immunization program,” Galvez, who is also the country’s vaccine czar, said during the arrival of the Sinovac vaccines at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
Galvez earlier said healthcare workers and other medical front-liners working in the major referral hospitals will be prioritized in the inoculation program once the Covid-19 vaccines become available.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said some 300,000 Filipinos, particularly health workers, are expected to get shots of Sinovac vaccines.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will get 100,000 doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines that could inoculate around 50,000 of its uniformed personnel.
Duque said among the hospitals to receive the vials are the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, East Avenue Medical Center, V. Luna Hospital, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, and the PNP General Hospital.
He noted that the Covid vaccines for the Visayas and Mindanao will be delivered by March 4 to March 5.
The Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City and the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City will get the first batch of the vaccines.
“Ito po ang dalawang pinakamalaking ospital ng gobyerno at ang mga healthcare workers ang mauunang maturukan (These are the two biggest public hospitals and their healthcare workers will be prioritized in the vaccination),” Duque said.
On the other hand, Galvez said the government’s negotiations with other vaccine manufacturers are still ongoing.
“We are also expediting the procurement of another one million doses of Sinovac vaccines which are expected to arrive this March also,” he said.
The government is expecting to receive the bulk of the Covid-19 vaccines by the second quarter of this year, he added.
“We will prioritize the preservation of our health institution and it would be followed by the government institutions that are providing essential services and economic front-liners,” Galvez said. (With reports from Joyce Racamora/PNA)