TACLOBAN CITY – More than half of frontline health workers in Eastern Visayas have received coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines during the first two months of vaccination rollout in the region, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Wednesday.
Marc Steven Capungcol, head of the DOH Eastern Visayas regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said 58,656 have been given the first dose while 7,778 of them already got the second dose.
The number represents 60 percent of the region’s health workers listed under priority group A1.
“We expect that all under priority group A1 or frontline health services workers will get the vaccine soon since we are getting more supplies,” Capungcol said in a press briefing.
On May 1, the region received an additional 73,200 doses of Sinovac vaccines, bringing the total to 154,850 doses shipped to Leyte and Samar provinces since March 5.
Of the total, 140,850 doses are Sinovac and 14,000 AstraZeneca.
The official admitted that some health workers got infected even after receiving the vaccine, but declined to disclose figures.
“There’s still a chance that those vaccinated will still be infected especially if the viral load is high. It’s not surprising that some of our health workers contracted the virus even after getting two doses since they are exposed. We can only assure that even if they get infected, the case will not be severe,” Capungcol added.
The region has nearly 80,000 health workers in the public and private sector listed on the priority list for vaccination categorized as group A and group A1.
Classified as group A are workers in hospitals treating Covid-19 patients.
Those in the A1 group are all employees of provincial health offices and provincial DOH offices, regardless of employment status; Department of Education’s health care workers assigned in health and nutrition sections; employees of disaster risk reduction management offices tasked to conduct swabbing, contact tracing, and emergency transport of patients; and social workers providing social amelioration and direct services to the public.
As of May 5, Eastern Visayas has recorded 18,339 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 17,516 recoveries and 280 deaths. Presently, there are 543 total active cases. (PNA)