SPMC doc first Mindanao front-liner to get Covid-19 jab

FIRST IN MINDANAO. Southern Philippines Medical Center officer-in-charge Dr. Ricardo Audan gets his first Sinovac shot from Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday (March 5, 2021). Audan said 86 percent of the hospital’s medical front-liners are willing to be inoculated. (Photo courtesy of PIA)

DAVAO CITY: The historic first Covid-19 vaccination in Mindanao happened Friday at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) here.

SPMC officer-in-charge Dr. Ricardo Audan volunteered to take the coronavirus shot to show the public the Sinovac vaccine is safe.

“This is a shot of hope,” Audan said in his brief talk during the launching rites.

“We at SPMC are very blessed to be part of this historic event. Years from now, we would look back at this day. We are the first to bring new hope (in Mindanao) and bring back a normal and secured life,” he added.

He said majority of SPMC healthcare workers are willing to be inoculated, be it the Sinovac from China, AstraZeneca or other brands.

Some 86 percent volunteered to get vaccinated, eight percent expressed uncertainty and the remaining six percent refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

“Surprisingly, there’s increased confidence in Sinovac among the healthcare workers,” he said. “In order to be a responsible healthcare worker, you have to be vaccinated.”

Aside from the 600,000 doses of Sinovac and 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated to the country, another one million doses of Sinovac this month and hopefully the Pfizer vaccine in the coming months are expected, National Policy Against Covid-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said in an interview.

All in all, the country is slated to receive 4.5 million doses of anti Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility until May, Galvez said.

The first Covid-19 vaccination in Davao City was witnessed by the entire Inter-Agency Task Force team headed by Galvez and Health Secretary Dr. Francisco Duque III, and Cabinet members including Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte thanked the IATF for ensuring that Davao City becomes the first to avail of the vaccines. Davao City Health officer, Dr. Ashley Lopez read her message on her behalf. 

(Judy Quiros/PNA/SRNY/RSP)

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