GENERAL SANTOS CITY: More frontline health care workers in South Cotabato province have signified to get inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine as its rollout went on full swing in the area on Monday.
Dr. Conrado Braña, chief of the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital (SCPH), said they received numerous requests among identified priority health workers for inclusion in the list of recipients in the week-long vaccination drive.
Earlier, he said only 291 of the facility’s over 500 personnel initially agreed to receive the vaccines as some opted to wait for its rollout first.
But, he said such number has so far increased and they expect that more will signify to be inoculated before the end of the vaccination period on March 14.
“We’re getting positive feedback among our workers and they are excited to get the vaccines,” he told the Philippine News Agency.
SCPH, which is based in Koronadal City, received last Saturday from the Department of Health-Region 12 a total of 667 doses of Sinovac vaccines donated by China out of the 1,838 allotted for the five referral hospitals for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients in the province.
Some 358 doses were delivered to Dr. Arturo P. Pingoy Medical Center and 335 to Allah Valley Medical Specialists Center in Koronadal City; 282 to Howard Hubbard Memorial Hospital in Polomolok town; and 196 to Soccsksargen General Hospital in Surallah.
The vaccination of SCPH workers formally started past 9 a.m. Monday, with medical officer Dr. Bryan Non getting the first shot.
Non, who is an advocate of Covid-19 vaccines, said he is hoping that more of his fellow frontline health care workers will be convinced to also get inoculated against the disease.
He said he carefully studied the Sinovac vaccine based on the results of the clinical trials and it is guaranteed to be safe, with lesser chances for recipients to get allergic reactions.
“It is 100 percent effective in preventing severe cases of Covid-19. So if a vaccine can achieve that and prevent death, then it is effective,” he told reporters.
He urged residents to trust the available vaccines distributed to other countries, including those being provided by the national government, and should get inoculated if they are eligible.
Hannah Ebeo, health education and promotion officer of the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office, said the vaccination of the priority frontline health workers in the four other Covid-19 referral hospitals started Monday morning.
“This is a simultaneous activity and will continue for seven days,” she said in an interview.
She said they are targeting to inoculate at least 100 individuals per day in each of the vaccination sites.
The acceptance of the Sinovac vaccine is reportedly high in the other referral hospitals in the province, with one facility convincing 90 percent of its workers to get vaccinated.
In this city, the rollout of the Sinovac vaccines started Monday morning with Dr. Ryan Aplicador, the deputy incident commander of the City Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases and also chief of Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital (DJPRH), getting the first shot.
Aplicador said he did not experience any adverse effects from the vaccine during the 30-minute to one-hour observation period.
A total of 670 medical professionals and staff members of DJPRH, one of the six Covid-19 referral hospitals in the city, were prioritized to get the Sinovac vaccines.
Also eligible are 697 workers from the St. Elizabeth Hospital, 527 from General Santos Doctor’s Hospital, 521 from Socsargen County Hospital, 380 from Mindanao Medical Center, and 343 from GenSan Medical Center.
(with report from Richelyn Gubalani/Allen Estabillo/PNA/SRNY/RSP)