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66K senior citizens to be vaccinated

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

Some 66,000 senior citizens in Bacolod City will be vaccinated against the coronavirus disease this week, Dr. Chris Sorongon, deputy for Data and Medical Analysis of the Emergency Operations Center, said.

Sorongon said the inoculation of the elderly will be done once all the medical frontliners complete the two doses for Covid vaccination.

Based on the record of the EOC, 6,450 frontliners and other health professionals in Bacolod have been inoculated, and 2,450 have completed their vaccine doses.

As of yesterday, Bacolod City still has 4,000 doses of vaccine left, including the 5,000 doses of the China-made Sinovac vaccines that arrived last week.

Sorongon said the EOC will push its plan to submit specimens to the Philippine Genome Center for sequencing to ascertain the virus strain prevalent in Bacolod and neighboring towns and cities amid the sudden surge of cases.

The only problem, he said, is that the molecular laboratories in Bacolod have not identified the qualified specimens to be sent to the Center since these should be taken from a primary source, or those with travel history outside the country.

LOCAL STRAIN INFECTIOUS

Sorongon noted that they are coordinating with the Center after the EOC noticed that the prevalent strain in Bacolod and Negros Occidental that causes a surge in cases can infect an entire household.

Earlier, EOC suspected that the variant might be the P3 that was first detected in Central Visayas.

Sorongon said they are closely coordinating with Dr. David Pedrosa of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, who is also coordinating with Dr. Renz Reyes of the Department of Health Region 6, for the possible sending of specimens for genome sequencing.

Meanwhile, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the city government is still evaluating if there is a need to procure other Covid vaccine brands, aside from the AstraZeneca jabs that the city had earlier procured.

SPUTNIK, TOO

The city procured 650,000 doses of the British-Swedish vaccine using a portion of the P300 million allotted for the vaccination program, while a negotiation for the purchase of an additional 150,000 doses is underway.

Leonardia said they are currently evaluating the possibility of purchasing the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines. Sputnik and Sinovac vaccines are expected to be delivered in Bacolod by Friday, or April 29.*

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