THE City Government of Bacolod has started its vaccination program against Covid-19 for the medical frontliners Friday, March 5, 2021, with five doctors and a nurse in the city receiving the first dose of Sinovac vaccine.
The ceremonial vaccination was held at the Bacolod Government Center (BGC) lobby and witnessed by city officials led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia; Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran; Councilors Renecito Novero, Israel Salanga, Cindy Rojas, Bartolome Orola and Ayesha Villaflor; and members of Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
The medical doctors, who were the first to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in Western Visayas, include Dr. Miguel Sarabia, ophthalmologist and president of Negros Occidental Medical Society (NOMS); Dr. Hector Gayares, chief executive officer of Adventist International Healthcare System Philippines and deputy medical of EOC; Dr. Dolores Rommela Tiples-Ruiz, infectious disease specialist and president of Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Disease-Negros Occidental Chapter; Dr. Radela Yvonne Ramos-Cortes, Internal Medicine, Allergy and Immunology; and Dr. Carlos Javier Primicias Jr., pediatrician.
Valerie Villarosa-Sarabia, a nurse and wife of Dr. Sarabia, also got vaccinated.
Bacolod City on Friday received a total of 6,300 doses of Sinovac vaccines intended for the medical frontliners from Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital and Riverside Medical Center.
These vaccines were allotted by the National Government to prioritize first the medical frontliners assigned at Level-3 Covid-19 facilities. It is part of the 600,000 initial doses donated by China to the Philippine government.
In Western Visayas, six hospitals were identified as Level-3 Covid-19 facilities, which include the CLMMRH and Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod City.
In the ceremonial vaccination, EOC has put up an actual vaccination at the BGC lobby, where the Covid-19 vaccine recipients underwent the triage such registration, screening, counseling, signing the consent, actual vaccination and the observation.
Dr. Chris Sorongon, deputy for medical data and analysis of the EOC Task Force, said six medical doctors were supposedly signified to join the ceremonial vaccination, but during the said process, Dr. Salvador Michael Thomas was observed with high blood pressure. As such, he cannot receive the vaccination.
"That is one of the many ways that we can definitely assure our fellow Bacolodnons the safety of the process in the vaccination program against Covid-19. If you fail in one step, you will not be vaccinated,” he said.
The vaccinators include City Health Officer (CHO) Edwin Miraflor Jr., who vaccinated Sarabia; Dr. Rosalie Deocampo-Tiples-Ruiz ; Elena Gumabong- Gayares; Ben De la Cruz- Ramos-Cortes; Dr. Grace Tan vaccinated Villarosa-Sarabia; and Dr. Claire Caperal vaccinated Primicias.
Sorongon said these vaccines were funded by the national government and is separate from the budget allocated by the local government for the purchase vaccine against Covid-19.
He said if all Sinovac vaccines will not be used, the remaining vaccines will be used by medical frontliners from Level-1 and 2 hospitals in Bacolod City to include Doctor’s Hospital, Bacolod Queen of Mercy Hospital, Metro Bacolod Hospital, Southern General Bacolod Hospital, and Bacolod Adventist Medical Center.
“Once all in the lists will be vaccinated, we will go to the CHO to vaccinate its personnel then, to the next prioritization the indigent’s population,” he added.
Sorongon said 6,300 doses of Sinovac vaccines were placed in the centralized cold room at the Bacolod Government Center Annex Building.
“It’s only a temporary cold room because we are still constructing the state of the art cold room to welcome the 650,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine funded by the local government,” Sorongon said.
He said the CLMMRH and Riverside Medical Center will start the vaccination of their employees on March 7 until March 11, as stated on the directive by the Department of Health (DOH).
He added the CLMMRH will receive about 1,600 doses of vaccines good for 800 workers and the Riverside Medical Center will also get 800 doses of vaccines good for 300 healthcare workers.
The 6,300 doses of Sinovac vaccines are good for 3,150 recipients aged 18 to 59 years old in Bacolod City.
Sorongon said the Covid-19 vaccine recipients will be given two doses of vaccine. The second dose will be given after a month.
He said the five medical doctors and the nurse who joined the ceremonial vaccination did not experience any untoward reaction, but they are still under monitoring for the next 24 hours.
For her part, Tiples-Ruiz said it was her promise that once the vaccine came, she needed to get the shot for more protection against Covid-19.
“The more people that are inoculated as soon as possible the better. We need to address the Covid-19,” she said.
Gayares said after the vaccination, he was feeling okay, adding Sinovac has a 100-percent protection against severe infection of Covid-19.
He said according to studies, side effects usually come out in the first 15 days, such as headache, fever, among others.
Meanwhile, some city officials are also interested to be vaccinated with Sinovac vaccine Friday, however, they were not allowed due to the limited supply of Sinovac vaccine.
Vice Mayor Familiaran along with Councilor Salanga, Rojas and Villaflor were already ready for vaccination, but they were not vaccinated since the first priority are medical frontliners.
Leonardia will not be vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine since it is only intended for persons aged 18 to 59.
Sorongon said vaccine czar Carlito Galvez informed city officials that due to limited Covid-19 vaccines, the Sinovac vaccine will prioritize first the medical frontliners.