Cebu City rolls out Pfizer vaccine at UC Senior High School campus

SIXTY individuals in Cebu City were injected with the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Monday, May 17, 2021.

The City Government started the rollout of Pfizer vaccines on Monday after it received 5,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the Department of Health (DOH) 7.

The inoculation with the Pfizer vaccine was held during the opening of a new vaccination site at the University of Cebu (UC) Senior High School campus along J. Alcantara St.

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, City Health Department officer-in-charge, said two of the 60 vaccinees experienced mild adverse effects.

Their blood pressure shot up after getting injected, but this returned to normal after minutes of monitoring, Ibones said.

“No serious side effects or no serious problem,” he said in a mix of English and Cebuano.

The City will administer the Pfizer vaccine only at the UC senior high school campus after it earlier announced that the inoculation would take place at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

The DOH 7 had wanted the vaccination site to be a hospital because of the Pfizer vaccine’s need to be stored in an ultra-cold freezer. But Ibones said city officials convinced the agency that residents might hesitate to get vaccinated if the vaccination site was a hospital.

He said the UC senior high campus is located near hospitals and the DOH 7 office, where the Pfizer vaccines are stored.

Ibones said the City targets to inject 1,000 individuals with the Pfizer vaccine for five days.

The UC senior high campus is the fourth vaccination site of Cebu City. The other three are the UC Banilad campus, Robinsons Galleria and SM Seaside City Cebu.

Meanwhile, DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas said the vaccination of individuals belonging to Priority Groups A1 (medical frontliners), A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidities) will continue, adding that they might proceed with vaccinating essential and economic workers, or those belonging to Priority Group A4, by June.

However, Bernadas said there is a possibility that the region will start vaccinating essential and economic workers this month if they finish vaccinating members of Priority Groups A1, A2 and A3 who registered and if there are vaccines still available.

He said the region’s supply of Covid-19 vaccines is enough.

The challenge, according to him, is for local government units to establish more vaccination sites to accommodate more vaccinees.

He said the partnership between the government and the private sector is also important, adding through this partnership, the region can achieve its goal to vaccinate 70 percent of the country’s population before the year ends.

There was no available data on how many individuals were vaccinated on Monday.

Mandaue City resumed its vaccination of senior citizens on Monday, but the City’s Vaccine Board chairman Ernie Manatad said there was only a 39 percent turnout.

He said only 385 medical frontliners, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities out of the 1,000 they expected, showed up at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex to get injected with the first dose of the vaccine.

Starting Tuesday, the City will open another vaccination site at the UC Lapu-Lapu Mandaue campus.

Manatad said they aim to vaccinate 1,000 individuals at both sites every day. (JJL, KFD)