By Azer Parrocha
SINOVAC VAX. The first shipment of CoronaVac vaccines donated by China arrives in the Philippines on Sunday (Feb. 28, 2021). Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday (March 1) said part of the 600,000 doses of Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine will be transported to Cebu and Davao this week. (Photo courtesy of Chinese embassy)
MANILA (Philippines News Agency)– Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. assured on Monday that frontline healthcare workers across the country will have equitable access to the China-donated Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccines with the expected transport of vaccine doses to Cebu and Davao this week.
“Pagkakaalam ko (What I know is) this coming March 3 and 4 ita-transport na nila doon sa (it will be transported to) Cebu. And then also this coming March 5 and 6, ita-transport naman nila doon sa (it will be transported to) Davao,” Galvez said in a press conference in Manila.
Galvez said the vaccination rollout will take place at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
“Uunahin po doon ang Vicente Sotto, mahigit na mga isang libo po ang tauhan niya at saka po yung ating Southern Philippines Medical Center (We will start at Vicente Sotto, they have around 1,000 employees and then the Southern Philippines Medical Center),” he said.
He said the remaining vaccine doses will be given to other regions across the country.
“At kung meron pa pong sobra, bibigyan na rin po natin yung ibang regions dito sa (And if there are remaining doses, we will give other regions such as) Region 3, Region 4-A, and also Baguio City and also other areas na tinamaan ng (hit by) Covid-19,” he said.
Galvez said all frontline medical workers will be prioritized in the government’s vaccination program.
“Nakikita po namin equitable po yung magiging distribution po nito. Hindi lang po tayo Metro Manila, pati po Visayas and Mindanao po (We can see that the distribution of vaccines will be equitable. It won’t only be in Metro Manila, but also in Visayas and Mindanao),” he added.
The Philippines kicked off its vaccination drive on Monday with shots administered to some frontline healthcare workers at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) and top government officials.
UP-PGH Director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi was the first person to receive CoronaVac vaccine. He was vaccinated by nurse Chareluck Santos.
Legaspi said around 100 frontline healthcare workers and employees from the UP-PGH are expected to receive CoronaVac shots.
Food and Drug Administration Director General Eric Domingo and Galvez were also administered with the vaccine. Government officials who have lined up to get vaccinated with CoronaVac are Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Benhur Abalos, and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. (PNA)