San Juan starts inoculating citizens with Pfizer vaccine
A health worker shows syringes filled with Pfizer vaccine as they administer the first dose to those belonging to A1 (medical frontliners), A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidity) categories during their continuation of vaccination program for San Juaneños at FilOil Flying V Centre (San Juan Arena) on May 12, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

San Juan starts inoculating citizens with Pfizer vaccine

(Philstar.com) - May 12, 2021 - 5:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — San Juan City started inoculating its citizens with Pfizer BioNTech-made vaccines Wednesday after the city government received 11,700 doses of the vaccine from the Department of Health the day before.

In a statement sent to reporters, the local government unit said that those who fall under the A1 (medical frontliners), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidity) categories could avail of the new vaccines. 

A total of 5,850 San Juaneños will get the Pfizer jab, it said, while the city targets around 500 doses of this brand to be administered by the end of the day.

To recall, this is the first batch from the 193,050 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines from the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility distributed to COVID-19 high-risk areas.

“Months before we had the Pfizer vaccine, we have prepared for this and already rented an ultra-cold freezer to store them properly. We opted to rent instead of buying one since it is much more economical and allowed us to spend our budget wisely and use the savings for other COVID-related activities,” Mayor Francis Zamora said in the statement.

“This vaccine is fragile. Each dose of it is like gold. We don't want it to go to waste when citizens can benefit from it. Our health officers underwent proper training on how to handle it to maintain its high efficacy,” the mayor also said. 

San Juan vaccination capacity increases, LGU says

Currently, San Juan has vaccinated a total of 13,085 people, including:

  • 8,620 who have received their first dose of Sinovac with 3,801 already able to get their full dose.
  • 2,460 others received their first dose of AstraZeneca.

The city also disclosed its remaining vaccine stores ready for inoculation as follows:

  • 10,075 doses of the China-made Sinovac, with 595 second doses administered Wednesday.
  • 12,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine
  • 2,460 will be allocated for the second dose of the first batch of San Juaneños who got the AstraZeneca jab
  • 9,540 allocated for the first dose of another batch of San Juan residents and frontliners, 802 of them are scheduled today.

After previously vaccinating between 600 and 800 individuals per day, the city said it can inoculate over 1,500 daily with the new vaccines.

This number, the city government said, can be further increased to around 3,000 a day in multiple sites once the city gets it 100,000 doses of city-procured AstraZenca vaccines.

As of May 11, the LGU said it was able to bring down its active cases to 268 from its highest recorded cases of 1,226 last April 12.

Other LGUs secure Pfizer jabs 

The Pasay City local government is also expecting 1,170 Pfizer doses good for 585 people later Wednesday night, while Manila City will be handing out 210 doses of the same on Thursday morning. 

Muntinlupa City also said it expects to receive 7,000 doses of the vaccine, assuring its citizens in a statement of its readiness for the cold-chain management of the jabs. No timeline was provided. 

Quezon City also told reporters it had secured Pfizer vaccines good for 5,800 individuals with barangay-assisted vaccination set to begin Thursday. 

To date, the Department of Health has recorded 1,118,359 coronavirus infections in the country, 53,214 of which are still classified as active cases. 

— Franco Luna 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: June 15, 2021 - 12:23pm

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)

June 15, 2021 - 12:23pm

Japan is donating AstraZeneca vaccines to the Philippines, Japanese Ambassador Koshikawa Kazuhiko announces on his Twitter account.

"[W]e'll make sure to deliver them at the soonest possible time so no one gets left behind during this pandemic," he also says.

June 11, 2021 - 12:13pm

Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo says that as far as he knows all of the sitting justices of the Supreme Court have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

He says the court asked for justices to be classified as A4. Some of the justices are also already senior citizens.

June 10, 2021 - 8:58pm

More than 2 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines from the Covax facility arrive at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Thursday night.

More than 200,000 doses will be distributed to Cebu and Davao while the remaining doses are for Metro Manila.

June 10, 2021 - 7:48am

Another 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine have arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Vaccination of economic frontliners, or workers in the A4 category, kicked off this month.

June 7, 2021 - 10:21am

The government marks the rollout of vaccines for the A4, or economic frontliners, category with a ceremony at a mall in Pasay City.

Around 35 million Filipinos are in the priority group, which has been expanded to include all who are required to physically report to work.

Pandemic restrictions have seen some Filipinos shift to remote work or work-from-home arrangements but many employees, especially those in the service sector, do not have that option.

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