Vaccination in Ilocos Norte town continues after fire hits health office | Inquirer News
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Vaccination in Ilocos Norte town continues after fire hits health office

/ 02:17 PM September 12, 2021

LAOAG CITY — The COVID-19 vaccination drive at San Nicolas town in Ilocos Norte province will continue after a fire struck the town’s health office and destroyed at least 400 vaccine doses Friday night, September 10, which broke out at the town’s health office destroyed several vials of COVID-19 vaccine, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said.

In a statement on Saturday, Dr. Rheuel Bobis, COVID-19 spokesperson of the DOH in the Ilocos region, said the regional vaccination operation center is in close coordination with health officials in San Nicolas about the fire.

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“We are assuring the public that this will not affect our vaccination activities,” Bobis said.

Police investigators on Sunday said at least 33 vials of Sinovac vaccines and 18 vials of AstraZeneca vaccines were destroyed by the fire. One vial of AstraZeneca vaccine contains at least eight to 10 doses, while one vial of Sinovac contains a dose of the vaccine.

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Aside from faulty electric wiring that could have triggered the fire, investigators said they are looking at the DOH’s ‘cooler’ used to store the vaccines as a possible cause of the fire after the machine’s compressor broke down, according to San Nicolas acting fire marshal Inspector Reynold Aguinaldo.

The latest data from the town’s health office showed that 8.83 percent of the 38,895 population of the town have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

During the House Committee on Economic Affairs inquiry on vaccine procurement on Thursday, September 9, Ilocos Norte first district Representative Ria Fariñas appealed to vaccine czar Carlito Galvez for a higher vaccine allocation to the province.

She said that Ilocos Norte’s share of the COVID-19 jabs from the national government had not increased or remained the same even as it battled a surge in COVID-19 cases in the past months.

She said only 29-percent of the 609,588 population in Ilocos Norte had been vaccinated.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Ilocos Sur province, Governor Ryan Luis Singson said during the same inquiry that over 6,000 residents in the province, who received their first dose of Gamaleya’s Sputnik-V had grown weary, as they had yet to receive their second dose beyond the schedule.

/MUF

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TAGS: COVID-19 vaccination drive, Fire, health office, Ilocos Norte, Regions
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