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Cordillera doctors seek more vaccine takers

/ 05:02 AM March 24, 2021

FIRST JAB A doctor in Baguio City gets her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech during the vaccination drive launch in the Cordillera region on March 5. —EV ESPIRITU

BAGUIO CITY, Benguet, Philippines —The government’s vaccination teams in the Cordillera on Tuesday targeted to inoculate 41 percent more of the region’s health workers on the last day of the initial vaccine rollout after being told that unused doses would be recalled by the Department of Health (DOH).

The region’s rollout for its medical front-liners was launched here on March 5 and ended on Tuesday, said Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, deputy director of the DOH in the Cordillera.

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At a press briefing on Monday, Pangilinan said 11,515 doctors, nurses and hospital employees have been inoculated with CoronaVac, manufactured by the Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech and donated by the Chinese government, and doses produced by British drug maker AstraZeneca.

The region has at least 31,424 medical front-liners, including specialists like dentists, staff handling clinics and barangay health workers.

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But the available doses in the region are only 19,300 (9,300 CoronaVac and 10,000 AstraZeneca doses), according to records.

As of March 22, Abra province had the best vaccination performance after consuming 455 CoronaVac doses to immunize 453 medical front-liners or 99.56 percent of its total medical workforce.

The province also posted a 100 percent rating for vaccinating 155 people using 15 vials of AstraZeneca (each vial contains 10 doses).

The first coronavirus case in the region was recorded on March 20 last year in Abra’s Manabo town, but the province has been classified as a low epidemic risk zone in the last few months.

Baguio, which opened its borders to tourists in October, was allocated 4,405 CoronaVac vaccines and had injected 4,101 front-liners, while 1,919 others availed of its AstraZeneca allocations.

In Mountain Province, where most of the region’s 41 cases of the United Kingdom variant (B.1.1.7. SARS CoV2) live, 762 medical workers had been given CoronaVac shots from its allocation of 1,040 doses, while 523 got AztraZeneca jabs out of 1,350 doses (135 vials).

Although AstraZeneca has been the preferred vaccine by medical workers here, 220 of them rejected the jab in the middle of the rollout, Pangilinan said.

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She said 229 others deferred their scheduled AstraZeneca jabs.

The Sinovac vaccine was turned down by 782 health workers and deferred by 1,078 others, she added.

—VINCENT CABREZA

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: Cordillera doctors, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19 Vaccines, DoH
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