July 19, 2024

The Cordillera marked the first year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of the Covid-19 as a pandemic with milestones in the implementation of the government’s vaccination program.
As of March 11, one year after the declaration of the pandemic, more than half of the total number of priority (A1) frontline workers in the region have been vaccinated six days after the first wave of anti-Covid-19 vaccines arrived in the region.
On the same day, Baguio City through the City Health Services Office launched its Covid-19 vaccination program, targeting to inoculate personnel manning the city’s temporary treatment and monitoring facilities (TTMFs) with a ceremonial vaccination of its lead physicians.
Department of Health-Cordillera Assistant Director Amelita Pangilinan reported a total of 4,494 eligible health workers as of March 10 received the first dose of Sinovac vaccine delivered to the region on March 4.
Baguio has the highest number of vaccinated health personnel with 1,771 followed by Benguet with 743, Mountain Province with 686, Ifugao with 447, Kalinga with 378, Abra with 274, and Apayao with 195.
The Cordillera has 8,828 hospital health workers based on the list submitted to the DOH-Cordillera.
Also, the Baguio General Hospital and Medical has started administering the AstraZeneca vaccines, initially inoculating 219 eligible priority individuals from the 600 doses turned over to the hospital.
Pangilinan said for Sinovac, they recorded 386 refusals and 502 deferrals from the start of the vaccination rollout. They also recorded 140 cases of adverse effects following immunization, 138 of which are minor adverse effects and two serious cases, but all of which were managed and recovered.
There were no refusals, one deferral, and 52 cases of minor adverse events following immunization documented for AstraZeneca vaccine.
“We urge everyone to submit themselves for vaccination and take whatever Covid-19 vaccine that the Food and Drug Administration approved when their turn comes. It is free, safe, and effective. Every little ounce of protection is better than having no protection at all,” Pangilinan said.
In Baguio’s first day of vaccination rollout at the University of Baguio gym, one of the mega sites identified for mass vaccination, the city targeted workers assigned at its TTMFs, with Drs. William Occidental and Maria Alice Torres and nurses as the first vaccinees.
The initial rollout is composed of 440 doses of AztraZeneca vaccines for 222 employees manning the isolation and quarantine facilities based on DOH master list.
Based on the guidelines, due to limited supply, first to get vaccinated are frontline health workers (with priority classifications), followed by senior citizens, indigent population, and uniformed personnel since they have higher risk of exposure while on duty and to allow them to continue fulfilling their duties in public and private sectors; and based on the principle of equity as to elders and indigents.
She said those who are not in the priority list to get the vaccine are at least not taking care of Covid-19 patients every day, unlike health frontliners.
“Ibigay muna natin itong limited na vaccine supply sa mga priority frontliners. If there are enough, we will be able to cover all our targets. But since we know it is a global demand, let us wait for our turn patiently. Huwag muna tayong magalit. The principle really is kung sino ang most at risk of getting Covid ang priority,” Pangilinan said. – Hanna C. Lacsamana