Who are the first Filipinos to get authorized COVID-19 jabs?
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III (R) administers the Sinovac vaccine against the COVID-19 coronanavirus disease to Eileen Aniceto, Medical Doctor of the Lung Center of the Philippines, in Quezon City on March 1, 2021.
AFP/Maria Tan

Who are the first Filipinos to get authorized COVID-19 jabs?

Gaea Katreena Cabico (Philstar.com) - March 1, 2021 - 3:12pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines began its vaccination drive against COVID-19 Monday, with medical frontliners, government officials and uniformed personnel first in line to receive donated Chinese shots.

Philippine General Hospital Director Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi was the first person to receive CoronaVac, the vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech in a “symbolic” vaccination activity held this morning. This marked the start of the massive inoculation program against the severe respiratory illness in the Philippines.

Legaspi, a neurosurgeon, also became the first individual in the country who received an authorized COVID-19 jab. Last year, members of the Presidential Security Group and several government officials jumped the vaccination line and used smuggled vaccines developed by Chinese state-owned Sinopharm.  

PGH nurse Chareluck Santos administered the first official COVID-19 shot in the Philippines.

Aside from Legaspi, other personnel from the country’s main COVID-19 referral center took the Sinovac vaccine although many health workers still opted out and decided to wait for another vaccines.

Aside from the PGH, the rollout also took place at five hospitals in outbreak epicenter Metro Manila.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III attended vaccination activities at the Lung Center of the Philippines and the Victoriano Luna Medical Center but did not get CoronaVac since his age falls outside the range of 18 to 59 suitable to get the jab.

The country’s Food and Drug Administration gave emergency use authorization a week ago to CoronaVac but did not recommend its use for healthcare workers. The government later allowed it to be offered to medical frontliners who want to take it.

The following were among the people who have received the first doses of CoronaVac:

Philippine General Hospital in Manila City

  • FDA  Director General Eric Domingo
  • Vaccine czar and National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implemented Carlito Galvez Jr.
  • Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Benhur Abalos

Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium (Tala) in Caloocan City

  • Testing czar and NTF Deputy Chief Implementer Vince Dizon
  • Tala Hospital Medical Center chief Dr. Alfonso Victorino Famaran, Jr.
  • Nursing service chief Samuel Sumilang

Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City

  • Emergency medicine and outpatient department manager Dr. Eileen Aniceto

Philippine National Police General Hospital in Quezon City

  • PNPGH chief Lt. Col. Cleto Manongas
  • PNPGH deputy chief Lt. Col. Raymond Ona
  • PNP health service director Brig. Gen. Luisito Magnaye

Victoriano Luna Medical Center in Quezon City

  • V. Luna Hospital commanding officer Col. Fatima Claire Navarro
  • Lt. Col. Cynthia Liao
  • Maj. Joel Lorenzo Rollo

with report from News5/Patricia Mangune 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: April 19, 2021 - 12:17pm

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

April 19, 2021 - 12:17pm

The Department of Health approves the resumption of the distribution of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to persons below 60 years old.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says this was upon the recommendation of the country's Food and Drug Administration.

April 16, 2021 - 8:19am

As approved by the inter-agency task force on COVID-19, Priority Group A4 of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Development Plan will include:

  • commuter transport (land, air and sea), including logistics
  • public and private wet and dry market vendors 
  • frontline workers in groceries, supermarkets, delivery services 
  • workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products 
  • frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
  • frontline workers in private and government financial services 
  • frontline workers in hotels and accommodation establishments 
  • priests, rabbis, imams and other religious leaders 
  • security guards/personnel assigned in offices, agencies and organizations identified in the list of priority industries/sectors
  • frontline workers in private and government news media 
  • customer-facing personnel of telecoms, cable and internet service providers, electricity distribution and water distribution utilities
  • frontline personnel in basic education and higher education institutions and agencies 
  • overseas Filipino workers, including those scheduled for deployment within two months 
  • frontline workers in law/justice, security, and social protection sectors
  • frontline government workers engaged in the operations of government transport system, quarantine inspection worker safety inspection and other COVID-19 response activities 
  • frontline government workers in charge of tax collection, assessment of businesses for incentives, election, national ID, data collection personnel 
  • diplomatic community and Department of Foreign Affairs personnel in consular operations 
  • Department of Public Works and Highways personnel in charge of monitoring government infrastructure
April 15, 2021 - 2:28pm

The US, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will provide P170 million in support to help the Department of Health rollout the government's COVID-19 vaccination program.

According to the US Embassy, the aid was announced by US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law during a visit to a Caloocan City vaccination site with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and other officials.

"Through this new funding, USAID will support the Philippines in strengthening the vaccine supply chain, monitoring vaccine safety, and delivering effective communication campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy.  This assistance will also support local government units as they plan for, track, and administer vaccines."

April 13, 2021 - 8:42pm

Top US health authorities recommended a "pause" in the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine "out of an abundance of caution" as they investigate any links between it and blood clots, a regulator said Tuesday.

The US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control are assessing the "potential significance" of six reported cases of a rare blood clot in patients who have received the shot, the FDA tweeted. 

"Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause," it said.

The regulator said that as of Monday more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine had been administered in the US.

"CDC & FDA are reviewing data involving 6 reported U.S. cases of a rare & severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare," the FDA stated on Twitter. — AFP 

April 13, 2021 - 11:20am

Some 20 million doses of Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in the Philippines within the next four months.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. says the government will sign a supply agreement with Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute this week.

“It can be used on the elderly, so from 18 and above. So we can use this and the good thing is at least in the absence of AstraZeneca, we can use this,” Galvez says in an interview with ANC's "Headstart."

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