BARMM Muslims told CoronaVac certified as halal in Indonesia
COTABATO CITY—Bangsamoro health minister Amirel Usman sought to allay fears by Muslims about CoronaVac, the coronavirus vaccine made by Chinese firm Sinovac, saying the medical products had been certified as halal in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-dominated country.
“You have nothing to worry,” said Usman after 4,200 CoronaVac doses arrived on board a Philippine Airlines commercial flight and intended for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Usman said the vaccines would be injected into health workers on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19 throughout the region.
“Priority is given to our health workers directly taking care of COVID-19 patients for our vaccination rollout,” Usman told reporters.
Of the initial vaccine supply, Maguindanao will get 1,400, Sulu will get 1,032, Lanao del Sur will get 972, Tawi-Tawi will have 518 and Basilan will have 278.
Dr. Elizabeth Samama, Maguindanao health chief, said health officials will start the vaccination program with the ceremonial injection of doctors and nurses at the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital early on Friday (March 5).
Doses intended for the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi will be transported either by land, air or sea with the help of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
Usman said succeeding vaccine supplies will be for other workers on the frontlines and the vulnerable, like the elderly.
Usman said the vaccines were kept overnight at the Ministry of Health storage facility inside the administrative compound of BARMM.
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