GENERAL SANTOS CITY: Some 748 additional frontline health care workers from 10 public and private hospitals here will receive starting Tuesday their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccines in line with the second rollout of the inoculation program in the city.
Dr. April Maquilang, immunization coordinator of the City Health Office (CHO), said Monday the eligible recipients are senior citizens or elderly medical professionals and hospital staff, and other workers who were not included in the initial vaccination activities.
She said the inoculation last week using the Sinovac vaccines in the city’s six referral hospitals for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients did not include the senior citizens or those aged 60-years-old and above as it was only recommended for individuals aged 18 to 59 years-old.
The first batch of recipients from March 8 to 14 comprise a total of 2,666 workers from the Mindanao Medical Center, GenSan Medical Center, St. Elizabeth Hospital, General Santos Doctor’s Hospital, Soccsksargen County Hospital and Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital.
“AstraZeneca was recommended for our senior citizens so they are the priority for the second batch,” Maquilang told reporters.
She said the other recipients are frontline workers of the four other hospitals that were not covered in the Sinovac vaccination.
These are the Sarangani Bay Specialists Medical Center, Inc., R.O. Diagan Cooperative Hospital, Auguis Clinic and Hospital, and Labella Hospital.
The Department of Health in Region 12 (DOH-12) delivered before noon Monday some 84 vials, equivalent to a total of 840 doses or 10 per vial, of the AstraZeneca vaccines for the city.
These were received by CHO head Dr. Rochelle Oco, Maquilang and other officials at the city gymnasium in Barangay Lagao, the site of the city’s cold storage facility for the Covid-19 vaccines.
Maquilang said these will be administered to the identified recipients from March 16 to 22 based on the region-wide rollout set by DOH-12.
“We will still follow the seven-day inoculation period but we expect some hospitals to complete their coverage much earlier,” she said.
She said the process will still follow the guidelines set by the DOH for the conduct of the vaccination activities, specifically the proper screening of the recipients and observance of the 30 minutes to one-hour post-inoculation monitoring for the possible emergence of adverse side effects.
The vaccination will not be mandatory and the eligible health workers are required to provide prior consent.
(with report from Allen V. Estabillo/Richelyn Gubalani/PNA/SRNY/RSP)