BUREAU of Immigration (BI) personnel started receiving their first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said they are targeting to inoculate a total of 1,250 immigration personnel with the government-procured CoronaVac, the vaccine from Sinovac Biotech, that is administered in two doses in 28 days.
“We have scheduled vaccination of our eligible employees on a weekend so as not to hamper our daily operations,” Morente added.
Adhering to the priority list given by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), the BI started vaccination of its employees who are senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.
“The continuous rise of Covid-19 cases accentuates the need to vaccinate our frontliners, especially those belonging in the most vulnerable group such as the seniors and persons with comorbidities. We want to assure their safety from the threat of the deadly virus,” Morente said.
Morente said a pre-screening will be conducted on the medical history of the officers to determine those who are eligible to receive the vaccine.
BI Deputy Commissioner and Chairperson of Covid-19 Taskforce Aldwin Alegre clarified that despite vaccine rollout among immigration officers, they will continue to implement basic health protocols such as wearing face masks and face shields, maintaining physical distancing, and checking body temperatures.
“BI is a frontline agency and our employees at the ports, as well as in our numerous offices nationwide, have remained open to provide service. Our frontliners are one of the most exposed and have a high risk of contracting the highly transmissible virus. As such, we will continue to make sure that all health protocols are being followed,” Alegre added.
He also expressed hope towards the positive effect of the vaccine rollout towards public service.
“I am confident that as our officers get their jabs, we will be able to carry out our mandate better and with less worry,” Alegre said.
The Task Force Chair thanked those who were able to assist the agency in inoculating its frontline men.
“We wish to thank the Department of Health, the Office of Mayor Isko Moreno of the City of Manila, Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan, City Health Director Dr. Arnold Pangan, Secretary to Mayor Bernie Ang, and Sta. Ana Hospital Director Dr. Grace Padilla for assisting us in this endeavor,” said Alegre.
“Our administrative team and medical team have worked so hard to make this a reality,” he said.
The City of Manila allowed the bureau to store its vaccines in their facility until the final rollout.
Almost 300 BI employees have been infected with Covid-19 virus.