AROUND 200 military health professionals assigned at the Camp Evangelista Station Hospital in the headquarters of 4th Infantry Division (4ID), Philippine Army in Cagayan de Oro City were vaccinated on Friday, March 5, 2021.
Presiding over the ceremonial vaccination was the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana. Also present during the rollout were Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
"Inuudyok ko ang lahat ng ating mga magigiting na mga kasamahan sa Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas na makiisa sa programang ito ng ating gobyerno upang maparating natin sa ating mga mamamayan na kailangan natin ang kanilang kooperasyon sa patuloy na paglaban sa hamon na ito," Sobejana said.
The first to receive a dose of Coronavac, the inactivated vaccine developed by Sinovac, was Camp Evangelista Station Hospital Commanding Officer Colonel Jonna Dalaguit.
Dalaguit, who is an advocate of vaccination, said she was the one who insisted to be the first to be vaccinated, saying that she wanted to share her experience to her colleagues.
Wala akong na feel, parang wala lang. Mas masakit pa nga yung ibang vaccine as compared to Covid vaccine. This vaccine ang bilis at wala akong naramdaman," Dalaguit said.
The 4ID headquarters in Camp Evangelista received a total of 600 vials of the coronavirus vaccine.
Lorenzana said those who refuse to receive the free vaccines from the government will have to get their own vaccines from their own pocket.
"Kasi nga bakit nila tatanggihan yung libre? Dapat lahat tayo magpabakuna, especially mga soldiers because they go around, meet other people, baka matakdan nila ang ilang mga kauban. So kailangan i-push natin na magpabakuna tayong lahat," Lorenzana said.
"Sabi ni Secretary Duque (Health Secretary Dr. Francisco Duque), ang pinakamagandang vaccine ay yung available. 50 percent na efficacy is already okay. Ako, I would rather have 50 percent protection than no protection at all," he added.
Department of Health Assistant Regional Director David Mendoza, who was also present during the ceremonial vaccination program at the 4ID Gymnasium, said the vaccination of military health personnel and frontliners will run for three days.