COVID-19 vaccination rolls out in provinces

Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - March 6, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Inoculations against COVID-19 were conducted in more provinces yesterday after the delivery of Sinovac vaccines donated by China.

Philippine Airlines carried 10,580 doses to Iloilo; 17,480 to Cebu; 6,600 to Bacolod; 17,940 to Cotabato; 8,940 to Butuan; 2,680 to Tagbilaran, and 6,900 to Tacloban yesterday.

The flag carrier said it has transported 145,520 Sinovac vaccines across the country since Wednesday.

At least 10,200 doses arrived at the Zamboanga International Airport and 10,800 doses at the Tuguegarao City airport in Cagayan on Cebu Pacific flights.

The Department of Health (DOH) has yet to announce a vaccine rollout in Cagayan Valley, which is comprised of the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya and Batanes.

Augusto Manolo Alpichi, assistant regional director of the Department of Health in Zamboanga peninsula, said the initial doses that they received would be used to inoculate 5,100 health workers in tertiary hospitals.

Afdal Kunting, chief of the Zamboanga City Medical Center, who led 10 hospital workers who were vaccinated yesterday, said they aim to vaccinate 250 workers per day.

Health workers at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center led by its head Ricardo Nuñez were the first to be inoculated in the Cordillera Administrative Region. The city public information office said 800 medical frontliners would be initially vaccinated.

In Bacolod, six doctors got their first dose during a ceremonial vaccination held at the city government center.

Eight referral hospitals in Ilocos region received the first batch of 14,400 doses of Sinovac vaccines that arrived on Thursday.

Valeriano Jesus Lopez, DOH-Center for Health Development regional director, said the inoculation is expected to be finished within seven days.

At least 7,097 health workers will be initially vaccinated.

Amirel Usmnan, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao acting health minister, said the 4,200 doses of Sinovac that they received would be used to vaccinate more than 2,000 frontliners in the region.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines started its vaccination drive for soldiers in Cagayan de Oro City.

A total of 600 doses of Sinovac vaccines transported by a C295 aircraft of the Philippine Air Force at the Lumbia airfield were brought to the 4th Infantry Division (ID) headquarters  at Camp Evangelista.

At least 100 of the 400 medical frontliners of the 4th ID were inoculated.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it would distribute more vaccines using its land, air and naval assets in coordination with the DOH. – Romina Cabrera, Richmond Mercurio, Raymund Catindig, Artemio Dumlao, Gilbert Bayoran, Rudy Santos, Eva Visperas, John Unson

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