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350 senior citizens inoculated

Mayor Evelio Leonardia (standing) checks on senior citizens waiting for their turn during the vaccination rollout at the Bacolod City Government Center yesterday* City PIO photo

About 350 senior citizens in Bacolod City received their first dose of the Sinovac vaccines at five simultaneous vaccination rollouts yesterday.

Emergency Operations Center executive director Em Ang said these senior citizens earlier registered online while others were surveyed by their barangay health workers. They are the first batch of elderly scheduled for inoculation by the City Health Office.

Of the 350 seniors, 150 were scheduled at the lobby of the Bacolod City Government Center, while about 200 seniors have been lined up at four barangay vaccination centers in Villamonte, Mandalagan, Vista Alegre, and Singcang-Airport.

FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED

The first 350 vaccinees were texted about their schedules, based on a first-come, first-served sequence in the order that their registration came into the city’s data base, a press release from the city said.

Online registrations can be done by registering through tinyurl.com/bcdceironline.

Walk-ins are not allowed, for crowd control and to observe the physical distancing protocol.

“This vaccination is our only way out of this pandemic and the means to restart our economic recovery,” Mayor Evelio Leonardia said.

Meanwhile, another 1,050 vaccine doses will be released to various hospitals in Bacolod for the remaining healthcare workers in these facilities and for their senior citizen relatives living with them.

Vaccines will be administered by the hospitals concerned.

GOV’T PRIORITY

Leonardia, who chairs the Covid-19 Vaccination Council, said, “It is the highest priority of the city government to ensure that the lives of Bacolodnons, especially the underprivileged, poor and marginalized, frontline workers, health professionals, healthcare providers, police officers and soldiers, and those in the essential services, especially women who represent the majority of the health workforce, as well as senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and people in vulnerable situations, shall be protected from Covid-19 by ensuring accessibility and adequacy of supply of related drugs and vaccines.”

OIC-City Health Officer, Dr. Edwin Miraflor, who helped design the city’s vaccination roadmap, and EOC deputy medical, Dr. Chris Sorongon, are encouraging those qualified to be vaccinated but have not registered yet, to register now so that when more vaccines arrive, they can be scheduled, too, according to their priority groupings.

LONG WAIT

“We have waited long enough to convince all healthcare workers to undergo vaccination. We will now proceed to the other priority groups while there are vaccine allocations arriving. Please continue to register through your respective barangays or on the city’s online portal registration,” Miraflor said.

Leonardia said that Bacolod has procured 650,000 doses of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine using a portion of the P300-million allotted for the vaccination program.

The AZ vaccines are expected to come in batches starting July this year.

The vaccines that will be used between now and July are those provided from time to time by the Department of Health.

A negotiation for the purchase of an additional 150,000 doses of vaccine is also underway.*

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