3,000 CoronaVac doses arriving for Ilocos Norte vaccination drive
LAOAG CITY—Ilocos Norte will start to inject coronavirus vaccines into its health workers on Saturday (March 6) upon arrival of at least 3,304 doses of CoronaVac donated by China, officials said.
Dr. Rhuel Bobis, COVID-19 focal person of the Department of Health (DOH) in Ilocos region, on Thursday told INQUIRER.net that the first batch of vaccines was allocated for health-workers of three COVID-19 referral facilities in the region.
Bobis said the Mariano Marcos Hospital and Medical Center (MMMH&MC) in Batac City would get the most doses with 2,124. Governor Roque Alban Sr. Memorial Hospital in Laoag City will get 710 doses and the Laoag City General Hospital will get 470 doses.
The three hospitals employ at least 1,600 health workers, but not all had registered to get injected with the vaccine made by Chinese company Sinovac because of its perceived low efficacy, said Dr. Norman Rabago, provincial health consultant. CoronaVac had a 50.3 percent efficacy during trials in Brazil.
Dr. Gretchen Ranada, head of MMMH&MC’s public health unit, said the hospital was expecting to receive its share of CoronaVac from the DOH in Ilocos region during the weekend.
The vaccine rollout in Ilocos Norte would begin in MMMHMC, according to Ranada.
INQUIRER.net learned that the MMMH&MC is on standby starting on Friday (March 5) for the arrival of the vaccines. The hospital targets at least 50 health workers that included nurses, doctors and medical technicians.
On March 3, Dr. Josephine Ruedas, provincial health officer, said Ilocos Norte received from the DOH some 79,000 syringes and 2,700 safety boxes to be used for the vaccine rollout in the province.