THE 17,400 vials of Sinovac vaccine intended for 8,700 individuals in Northern Mindanao arrived at the Laguindingan Airport around 5:20 a.m. on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Acting City Health Office Dr. Lorraine Nery, who was among those who received the vaccines, which were encased in bio-freezers in the airport, said this is only the first batch of vaccines delivered to the region.
"Gibasihan ani ang gihatag nato nga mga initial ng mga masterlist didto sa Department of Health (DOH) for the health workers, katong atong priority number one, atong frontline healthcare workers," Nery said.
Nery said the vaccines were gradually being transported through a refrigerated van from the central depot of the DOH-Northern Mindanao to the hospitals in the region.
The Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), the referral hospital as well as the biggest hospital in the region, will be the first to conduct the vaccination rollout, with around 1,800 employees set to be vaccinated on Friday, March 5.
The Sinovac vaccine, which is the only halal-certified vaccine, is the available vaccine for healthcare workers at present, Nery said.
The city health officer also mentioned of the updated list of prioritization for the vaccination rollout per guidelines from the DOH.
Nery said the prioritization list is based on the scarcity of the supply of vaccines, as well as geographic location.
"Kay nakita naman nga the vaccines are... naay worldwide scarcity sa supply so mao ni karon ang ilahang prioritization based on scarcity and based on geographic location," Nery said.
Among the priority group A (in order) are the workers in frontline health services, all senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel, and indigent population. Priority group B is composed of other frontline workers and special populations, while priority group C is the remaining population.