Vaccine rollout in Cebu City to resume on Monday, May 3

THE Cebu City Government will resume its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine rollout for members of Priority Codes A1 (health care workers) and A2 (senior citizens) on Monday, May 3, 2021.

The City was forced to suspend vaccination on April 23 after it ran out of vaccines.

On Saturday, May 1, it received more than 9,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine from China.

Vice Mayor Michael Rama, lead convener of Vaccine Advisory Board (VAB), said that first to be accommodated on Monday will be senior citizens on the waiting list and those who were supposed to be inoculated last April 23.

The schedule of other barangays for May 4 and the following days will be announced on Monday.

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, City Health Department (CHD) officer-in-charge, said the City targets to distribute the more than 9,000 additional vaccines to members of Priority Codes A1, A2 and A3 (persons with comorbidities).

He said Mayor Edgardo Labella was also assured by vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. that the City would receive an allocation on the 1.7 million doses of Sinovac vaccine that are expected to arrive in the country by May 7.

Ibones said they target to inject more than 500 individuals with the first dose of the two-dose vaccine daily at the three vaccination sites in the city: University of Cebu Banilad campus, Robinsons Galleria and SM Seaside City.

If individuals on the list for vaccination follow their schedule, Ibones said the City may use up all the newly arrived vaccines in just seven days.

Ibones said the VAB plans to start inoculating persons with comorbidities within the week, but it is still coming up with a strategy that will ensure a smooth vaccination of the first three priority sectors.

On Wednesday, May 5, Ibones said 105 health care workers are set to receive their second dose at the Robinsons Galleria.

As the City’s vaccine rollout covers more sectors, the CHD will need to deploy more doctors and nurses at the vaccination sites.

Ibones said they’re proposing a budget of not more than P200 million to be charged to the City’s supplemental budget for the hiring of additional nurses, doctors and midwives.

City Administrator Floro Casas Jr. said the mayor is inclined to grant the request of Ibones and confirmed that Labella already received the CHD’s request.

The Department of Health 7 said 56,000 additional doses of the Sinovac vaccine for Central Visayas arrived in Cebu Friday morning, April 30.

The latest shipment was part of the 500,000 doses that arrived in the country early Thursday, April 29, which completed Sinovac’s commitment to deliver 1.5 million doses of government-procured vaccines for the month of April.

These brought the total number of Sinovac doses received by the Philippines to 3.5 million, including the one million doses donated by the Chinese government.

As of April 29, the Philippines has taken delivery of 4,025,600 doses of vaccines, including the 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated through the Covax facility.

Of the 4.025 million, more than 1.8 million have been administered as of April 27, consisting of 1,562,815 first dose and 246,986 second dose.

About a third of these shots went to the National Capital Region (NCR), epicenter of Covid-19 epidemic in the country.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 records show that 609,710 NCR residents have received their first dose. Among these recipients, 82,041 have also received their second dose.

Meanwhile, Galvez said the arrival of Gamaleya’s Sputnik V was postponed “due to logistical challenges on the shipment of the vaccines.” (JJL / SunStar Philippines)