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Bicol to get 11K doses of Sinovac CoronaVac this week

Photo courtesy of Chinese embassy via PNA

LEGAZPI CITY -- At least 11,700 doses of CoronaVac vaccine are expected to arrive this week in Bicol as part of its initial allocation from the 600,000 doses that arrived on Sunday from China, the Bicol Region-Center for Health Development said.

Dr. Rita Ang-Bon, DOH-Bicol Covid-19 vaccine program coordinator, in an interview on Wednesday said the doses of the vaccine manufactured by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. would be allocated for government health workers of four hospitals in the region.

“There are at least 5,842 government health workers from the four hospitals allotted with the vaccines. The said hospitals serve as Covid-19 treatment and isolation centers in Bicol,” Ang-Bon said.

Based on DOH data, the priority hospitals for the vaccination rollout include the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in this city with 2,292 employees; Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City with 2,132 personnel; Bicol Region General Hospital and Geriatric Medical Center in Cabusao, Camarines Sur with 767 workers; and the Naga Imaging Center Cooperative Doctors Hospital with 651 employees.

Ang-Bon also noted that the excess vaccines would be given to other government hospitals in the region.

“We are just waiting for the advice from the central office as to what mode of transportation and the exact date of arrival. If it arrives this week, the rollout of the vaccination will start next week,” she added.

Ang-Bon also said upon the arrival of the vaccines, these would immediately be inventoried and stored at the DOH Vaccine Storage Facility here.

“As soon as the vaccines are delivered to the intended hospital, it would start the vaccination procedures,” she said.

The DOH-Bicol, according to Ang-Bon, is prepared for any possible reactions or side effects that will be experienced by those who will receive the vaccine.

“There are people who are afraid of needles that's why before they were vaccinated they are a little bit scared then after the vaccination they feel relieved that they body reacts, we called it immunization anxiety vaccination reaction,” she said.

Ang-Bon reminded those who are hesitant to receive the vaccines that “you must get the right information from the right sources, not from social media. The more we are fearful, the more we are exposed to the virus. Let us be a solution to the problem, the vaccine is our contribution to end the virus.”

Meanwhile, Noemi Bron, DOH-Bicol public affairs chief, said a recent survey conducted by the agency showed that at least 60 percent of government health workers in the region, including doctors, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists are willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

“From the 2,167 respondents, 60.8 percent are willing to be vaccinated, .6 percent don’t want to be vaccinated, 16.6 percent are not yet sure and 22 percent did not give their answers," Bron said. (PNA)