Hope, fear, doubts mark initial vaccine rollout in Mindanao | Inquirer News
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Hope, fear, doubts mark initial vaccine rollout in Mindanao

MLANG, COTABATO –– Amid her fear of adverse effects, a medical doctor braved the first shots of the CoronaVac on the first day of the vaccine rollout here on Monday and heaved a sigh of relief when she emerged from the inoculation room unscathed.

Dr. Lilian Roldan, chief of Mlang District Hospital, admitted she was having trouble sleeping in the last two days as the scheduled vaccination neared. But she said she kept praying that she would overcome her fears of the vaccine.

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“(I was w)orried, of course, as the vaccination day came closer. But I just kept in mind it was for my good because we (at the hospital), are vulnerable to the virus,” Roldan said.

She was relieved, though, that she did not experience any adverse reaction to the vaccine.

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“Today is a sign of hope,” Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco said in a message to health frontliners on the first day of vaccination here on Monday

Dr. Eva Rabaya, Integrated Provincial Health Officer of Cotabato, said of the 441 doses of CoronaVac that the province received from the Department of Health (DOH) Region 12 over the weekend, 128 were allotted to Mlang town, 137 to Kidapawan City, 93 to Kabacan and 83 for the Pesante Memorial Hospital in Midsayap town.

In Kabacan town, the blood pressure of some of the 30 healthcare workers shot up shortly before they received the vaccine but eventually subsided after they rested.

The 30 healthcare workers did not have adverse effects after vaccination.

In Marawi City, a 32-year-old nurse at the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) went against the will of her parents by having herself inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine from China at the start of the vaccination on Monday.

Norhaisa Aragon, a registered nurse, said she had been assigned at the triage center, trying to assess and segregate patients suspected of COVID-19 infection since the start of the pandemic.

She said she had been exposed to COVID-19 patients several times and this had made her anxious all the time.

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“Getting vaccinated will help me,” Aragon said. “My parents are both diabetics, and both have low immune systems. I don’t want them to get infected. I could get the virus from my workplace.”

Her parents, however, were among those who did not believe that the COVID-19 pandemic was true. Instead, they think that the government had been faking it.

Jahari Saber, an ambulant vendor, said he had been selling goods outside the Amai Pakpak Medical Center (APMC) since the start of the pandemic but he said he never saw anyone who collapse because of COVID-19.

On Monday, the APMC management had started inoculating some of its 1,181 healthcare and hospital employees, who are eligible for the vaccines.

Of the total number, more than 900 hospital employees expressed interest to get the jab, said Dr. Shalimar Rakiin, APMC chief.

“I am confident that when they see their colleagues vaccinated, the number of employees willing to receive the jab will increase,” said Rakiin, who took the jab first.

The hospital received its doses on Saturday from the DOH regional office in Cagayan de Oro City.

In Iligan City, Dr. Belinda Lim, head of the emergency operation center health cluster, said the vaccination had also started at the Dr. Serapio Montaṅer District Hospital in Malabang town, Lanao del Norte, and the district hospitals in the towns of Wao, Tamparan, Balindong, and Binidayan of the province.

In Sarangani province, the Sarangani provincial health facility was in a festive mood on Sunday as it started the inoculation of some of its 336 health workers and medical frontliners.

Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Sarangani provincial health officer, however, said at least 11 of their supposed recipients opted to defer their vaccination. He did not cite the reason.

Alejandro, who took the CoronaVac jab on Sunday, told the Inquirer that he felt only a slight pain in the area where he was injected. “It is like the pain when you get injected with anti-tetanus,” he said.

Arjohn Gangoso, DOH Region 12 health education and promotion officer2, said 9,000 healthcare workers had been targeted for vaccination in 23 COVID-19 referral hospitals in the region but a good number of these healthcare workers had signified reluctance in getting the vaccine.

In General Santos City, the inoculation of frontline healthcare workers also kicked off on Monday after the arrival of 3,138 doses of the CoronaVac vaccine in the city on Saturday.

Mayor Ronnel Rivera, who received the vaccines at the COVID-19 command center in Lagao Gym, said 670 doses would be allotted to the St. Elizabeth Hospital Inc., a private medical facility; another 670 for the government-owned Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital; 527 for the General Santos Doctors Hospital; 521 for the Socsksargen County Hospital; 380 for the Mindanao Medical Center; and 343 for the Gensan Medical Center.

LZB

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TAGS: Coronavac, Coronavirus, coronavirus disease, Cotabato, COVID-19, doctor, fear, Mlang, Philippine news updates, Regions, relief, vaccine rollout
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