BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
An additional 23,500 vials of Sinovac vaccines intended for Negros Occidental and the highly-urbanized City of Bacolod for the vaccination of more frontliners, as well as local government officials, who are senior citizens, arrived at the Bacolod-Silay Airport yesterday.
Of the 23,500 vials, 16,000 were earmarked for Negros Occidental and 7,500 for Bacolod City, Provincial Incident Management Team head. Dr. Zeaphard Gerhart Caelin, said.
The vaccines were immediately transported to the cold storage facilities of the Provincial Health Office and of the Bacolod City government, Caelian said.
Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, said 8,000 individuals in the priority groups will be inoculated, with the remaining 8,000 vials to be reserved as second dose.
About 31,000 healthcare workers in Negros Occidental, who belong to the A1 category, and several local government officials have been vaccinated.
Under the new guidelines, Tumimbang said that 60 years old and above may now be vaccinated with Sinovac vaccines, as approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Since the supply of vaccines is still limited, Tumimbang said the 16,000 newly-arrived vaccines will be divided, based on the demands of local government units. But he stressed that they will strictly follow the priorities set by the Department of Health in administering the vaccines.*