Cebu City’s vaccine rollout ‘on hold’ until it receives next batch of vaccines

WHILE more Cebu City residents under Priority Codes A2 and A3 have registered online to be vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Vaccine Advisory Board (VAB) cannot resume the vaccine rollout yet.

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, officer-in-charge of the City Health Department (CHD), said the three vaccination sites in the city – Robinsons Galleria, University of Cebu Banilad campus and SM Seaside City – will remain closed on Monday, April 26, 2021.

“Dili pa maka-resume kay wa man tay i-inject, wa man gyud (We don’t have any vaccine to inject),” he said in an interview on Sunday, April 25.

The 4,600 doses of Sinovac intended for senior citizens (Priority Code A2) that the City received last week were all used up on Friday, April 23, after five days of inoculation.

On April 19, 793 elderly received the first dose of the two-dose vaccine. Their numbers rose in the next three days: 1,100 on April 20; 1,144 on April 21; and 1,377 on April 22. The remaining 662 doses were injected on Friday.

Ibones said they’re waiting for the Department of Health (DOH) 7 to give them an update on when the next batch of vaccines will be delivered.

He said if they receive a fresh supply this week, the City will start vaccinating persons with comorbidities (Priority Code A3).

As of April 25, 26,215 senior citizens and 27,520 persons with comorbidities have registered online to be vaccinated.

Ibones hopes the City will receive its allocation as soon as possible, adding that Mayor Edgardo Labella also wants to get vaccinated.

The VAB aimed to fasttrack the City’s vaccine rollout, which was why it opened the third vaccination site at SM Seaside City at the South Road Properties on Thursday to cater to more senior citizens.

Ibones asked for the public’s patience, saying no one is in control of the situation, not even the DOH 7.

During her vaccination briefing on Friday, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH 7 spokesperson, said Central Visayas might receive additional vaccine doses this week.

She said they were waiting for the region’s allocation from the additional 500,000 doses of vaccine shipment that arrived in the country last week. The fifth batch of vaccine shipment from China arrived on Thursday.

She, however, did not specify the exact number of doses the region would get.

As of April 14, Central Visayas received 148,560 Sinovac vaccines and 30,000 AstraZeneca vaccines, which had been distributed to various vaccination sites in the region.

As of April 20, 572,626 senior citizens were registered to be vaccinated. So far, only 5,793 have received the first dose, or 1.01 percent. (JJL, WBS)