San Juan starts vaccine rollout

Ghio Ong, Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - March 7, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The city government of San Juan yesterday kicked off its COVID-19 vaccination program using the vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech of China.

Medical frontliners of the San Juan Medical Center (SJMC), led by hospital director Dr. Joseph Acosta, were inoculated at the Filoil Flying V Center in Barangay Corazon de Jesus.

Vice Mayor Jose Warren Villa officiated the ceremonial vaccination as Mayor Francis Zamora is still under quarantine after he tested positive for COVID-19.

The national government has set aside 300 doses of the Sinovac jabs for San Juan.

Villa said a total of 138 healthcare workers, representing 33 percent of SJMC’s workforce, have signed up for the vaccination drive.

Villa said next in line are medical frontliners of the city health office.

There are at least 89 active COVID-19 cases in San Juan. The virus has infected a total 3,960 individuals in the city since last year, killing 106.

Caloocan’s elderly hospital staff get Sinovac shots

Some personnel of Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium in Caloocan City who are above 60 years old were inoculated with Sinovac’s vaccine.

Hilda Guevara, 63, who works as an administrative assistant, received the vaccine on Thursday after consulting doctors at the hospital and undergoing laboratory tests, according to a report by ABS-CBN News.

Hospital director Dr. Alfonso Victorino Famaran Jr. told The STAR yesterday that Guevara was not the only hospital personnel above 60 years old who received the vaccine but did not specify a figure.

While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) previously announced that the Sinovac vaccine should be given only to people aged 18 to 59, Famaran maintained it “there was no advice that it should not be given to senior citizens.”

“People aged 60 and up can receive Sinovac vaccine provided they present a medical clearance and they sign a waiver saying they are aware that they will receive the vaccine and that they are above the age range of those who are supposed to receive the vaccine,” he said in Filipino.

Famaran also said he has not received word from the Department of Health (DOH) when they would receive the COVID-19 vaccine created by European drug company AstraZeneca.

Around 370 of the 1,935 hospital personnel have been injected with the Sinovac vaccine as of Friday, he said.

The hospital has received 1,800 doses of Sinovac vaccine, of which 600 were either consumed or reserved as a booster dose.

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