Escalante Mayor Melecio Yap Jr. received a Sinovac jab Friday, March 19, to convince hesitant health care workers (HCWs) in his city that it is safe and necessary, making him the first public official in Negros Occidental to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Yap said 150 doses of the vaccine were sent to the Vicente Gustilo District Hospital in Escalante City and when he arrived, only 46 HCWs were willing to be vaccinated.
The HCWs were hesitant to be inoculated with the China-made vaccines so he had to volunteer to be vaccinated to trigger a response, Yap said.
Yap, who said he was on the quick replacement list for vaccination, had no adverse reaction to the vaccine and was feeling okay.
This triggered other HCWs to follow and more than 100 were vaccinated today. The COVID-19 vaccination of HCWs Escalante City will be finished by Saturday, the mayor said.
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the only solution to end this pandemic, the mayor said.
On Thursday, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who is also president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, said the national Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) had approved the inclusion of local chief executives (LCEs) among the priorities for COVID-19 vaccination.
“This means the 1,634 provincial governors, city and municipal mayors will be covered. Also included are 42,046 barangay captains all over the country,” Leonardia said.
He has asked the Bacolod City Health Office to determine the availability of vaccines for LCE vaccination and is waiting for an official go ahead, Leonardia said Friday.*