BACOLOD CITY – More local government units (LGUs) in Negros Occidental will receive coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines after the arrival of 5,200 doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac here on Tuesday.
Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, provincial health officer, said the additional vaccines from the national government will go to the remaining medical front-liners in hospitals who have not yet availed of the first dose and also to similar recipients identified by the cities and municipalities.
“Majority of that will go to the LGUs. The recipients have already been pre-identified,” he added.
Tumimbang said half of the latest supply or 2,600 vials will be released for the first dose, and the 2,600 vials will later be dispatched for the second dose.
“Being prioritized (for vaccination) are those directly involved in treating of patients and monitoring of patients, and also those in quarantine facilities,” he said.
The province’s vaccination program is still focused on the Priority Group A1, comprised of front-line health workers, due to limited supply of vaccines, Tumimbang said.
The 5,200 vials of Sinovac received by the provincial government are part of the 7,200 vials that arrived in Bacolod-Silay Airport on Tuesday. The remaining 2,000 vials went to Bacolod City.
In March, Negros Occidental received a total of 5,180 vials of the China-made vaccines as well as 74 vials of AstraZeneca. Each vial of AstraZeneca contains 10 doses.
On March 10, the Provincial Health Office first received 1,600 vials of Sinovac, and the following day, the province rolled out its Covid-19 vaccination campaign at Teresita Lopez Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, in the presence of Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19.
This was followed by the rollout in district hospitals, LGU-owned hospitals and health units, and private hospitals across the province.
In February, the provincial government paid an initial amount of more than PHP4 million to AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals Philippines Inc., representing the 20 percent advance payment for its order of 100,000 doses from the British-Swedish firm.
Earlier, Lacson said he has asked for three million doses from the national government to reach some 70 percent of the province’s total population, or some 1.5 million Negrenses needing two doses each. (PNA)