BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson yesterday said he is willing to receive the China-made Sinovac amid reports that some medical health personnel in two private and government hospitals in Bacolod are not willing to receive such vaccines.
It’s better to be vaccinated and not just to wear face masks and shields, Lacson said, citing that the vaccine provides more protection against COVID-19.
The governor, however, stressed the need to maintain and observe the minimum health standards even after receiving the vaccine.
Both Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Hospital and Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod City are getting 3,200 vials of Sinovac’s vaccines from the Department of Health 6, for the inoculation of their respective medical frontliners.
Expressing his surprise that two Bacolod hospitals will get a share of the vaccines, although it was initially intended for National Capital Region, Cebu and Davao, Lacson said, “ I think this is part of their confidence building,” apparently referring to the national government.
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for the use of Sinovac but warned that this may not be the best vaccine for health workers, especially those exposed to COVID-19 patients, given its 50.4 percent efficacy rate.
Lacson said that he will make an appeal to also include the 1st and 2nd level hospitals in Negros Occidental as recipients of the vaccines, as he also encouraged frontliners to avail of it.
When they see that they are being inoculated and there is no adverse effect, I think more and more will be willing to be vaccinated, the governor said.
On the other hand, Lacson confirmed that the provincial government COVID-19 vaccination dry run will be held in Murcia, instead of Candoni, on March 12, so that many local government executives can witness it.
The COVID-19 task force of the provincial government convened March 3 in preparations for the vaccine roll out, including also the execution of vaccination of Capitol employees.
Lacson said that they will also buy two additional vaccine freezers, to comply with the requirements set by the DOH. What is also important, he added, is the portable freezers, for use in the delivery of vaccines in far areas, he also said.
The 487,200 doses of Covid-19 vaccines developed by British-Swede pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca is being expected to arrive in the Philippines today. Lacson said they will an advise from the national government if Negros Occidental will have share of the vaccines.*