THE City Government of Olongapo started inoculating on March 6 medical frontliners against coronavirus disease (Covid-19), making it the first local government unit (LGU) in Central Luzon to roll out the vaccination program.

A total of 538 vials of Sinovac vaccines arrived Saturday, March 6, at the James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital (JLGMH) intended for the city's medical workers.

Dr. Jewel Manuel, chief of the JLGMH, was among the first recipients of the vaccine from the Department of Health (DOH).

"Ngayon araw po ito ay very memorable sa mga taga-Olongapo. Tayo ang first to conduct the vaccination in Central Luzon. Una, ginawa natin ito para maprotektahan tayo at sa ganun ay maprotektahan din natin ang ating pamilya. Pangalawa, para lumakas ang loob o tumaas ang confidence ng mga medical health workers ng JLGMH para sa ganun ay patuloy naming magawa ang aming trabaho (This day is very memorable for the people of Olongapo. We are the first to conduct the vaccination in Central Luzon. First, we do it to protect ourselves and at the same time, to protect our families as well. Second, to increase the confidence of the medical health workers of JLGMH so that we can continuously do our jobs)," Manuel said during the live streamed event.

He appealed to his fellow medical frontliners to continuously observe minimum health protocols despite being vaccinated against Covid-19.

"Ang bakuna ay isa lamang sa magpoprotekta sa atin. Kailangan after ng bakuna ay ipagpatuloy pa rin natin ang pagsunod sa minimum health requirements. Kailangan i-observe pa rin natin ang safe physical distancing and proper wearing of face masks and face shields (Vaccination is just one of those measures that will protect us. After the vaccination, there is a need for us to continuously follow the minimum health requirements. We still need to observe safe physical distancing and proper wearing of face masks and face shields)," he said.

Mayor Rolen Paulino Jr., for his part, said he is happy over the early arrival of the vaccines.

"Natutuwa po tayo sa maagang pagdating ng bakuna sa atin. Kaya bakit kailangan pa nating patagalin. Kaya inumpisahan na natin ngayon instead na sa Monday pa (We are happy with the early arrival of the vaccines. So why do we need to delay? So, we start now, instead on Monday," he said of the vaccination rollout.

Some 100 medical workers are expected to be inoculated with the first dose of Sinovac vaccines on Sunday. (PNA)