BAGUIO CITY – Two of the first eight hospital workers to be vaccinated in the Cordillera region on Friday were support staff who help in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Cyrence Romero, a utility worker at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), said the only thing she felt while being injected was the needle piercing her skin.
Romero said she did not feel drowsy or anything unusual even after she was vaccinated.
“Masaya ako kasi ako yung magiging dahilan na maraming kasamahan ko ang magpapabakuna (I am happy because I will be the reason why many of us would be vaccinated),” she said in an interview on the sidelines of the rollout of the vaccination in the region.
Romero said as a “carer”, her task involves cleaning and collecting the wastes generated at the hospital, including the Covid-19 ward.
She noted that she still needs to maintain self-discipline and stay healthy even though she has been vaccinated.
“Hindi ako confident na hindi ako magkakasakit pag walang self-discipline. Dapat nag-iingat tayo sa mga hinahawakan at parating naghuhugas ng kamay. Dapat din na panatilihin natin na masustansiya ang kinakain natin (I am not confident that I will not get sick if I do not practice self-discipline. We should be wary of what we touch and we should always wash our hands. We should also make sure that we eat only what is healthy),” Romero said.
“Nasa atin magsisimula ang ating proteksyon sa disiplina at pagpapabakuna (Our protection starts with us through discipline and the decision to get vaccinated).”
She was the seventh person to be officially vaccinated in the Cordillera after the region received 7,800 doses of the SinoVac vaccine on Thursday evening.
The BGHMC was the first hospital in the region to receive the vaccines and inoculate its employees.
The first vaccinee in the region was Dr. Ricardo Runez, BGHMC’s chief of hospital, followed by Dr. Rey Suanding, chief professional staff; Dr. Thea Pamela Cajulao, infectious disease specialist; chief nurse Joselito Datud; and lawyer Patrick Henry Villanueva, chief of legal affairs.
Another vaccinee was ambulance driver, Fernando Tong-an, the first employee of the hospital to contract the Covid-19 virus.
A total of 1,801 vaccinees out of the 2,700 employees of BGHMC have registered and given their consent to receive the SinoVac vaccine.
Dr. Runez said 100 employees were scheduled to be vaccinated on the first day of the rollout.
“We will finish about 100 to 200 vaccinees every day until we finish all those who have initially registered,” Runez said.
Dr. Ruby Constantino, director of the Department of Health – Cordillera, said the region’s allocation would be given to all public and private hospitals, infirmaries, and medical facilities operating in six provinces and two cities.
A total of 8,828 hospital workers have registered and consented to receive the SinoVac vaccine, Constantino said.
She added that they have a buffer and could ask for additional shots to complete the first dose of the initial registrants in all medical facilities.
Constantino said they expect to receive the additional allocation for the region within March as they have a month before taking the second dose of the vaccine.
The region’s initial allocation from the 600,000 doses of vaccines that arrived in the country was originally allotted for five government hospitals.
She said they were informed of the change in plans as early as Thursday evening when the country got hold of the Philippines’ allocation for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Meanwhile, Benguet province received its allocation of 1,100 vaccines.
A total of 500 vaccines is intended for workers at the Benguet General Hospital while 600 will be distributed to various public and private medical facilities in 13 municipalities.
Benguet will have its vaccine rollout on Saturday. (PNA)