Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said today, March 4, that he will appeal to the national government to include frontliners at Negros Occidental hospitals in the initial COVID-19 vaccine roll out.
Dr. Jane Juanico, head of the DOH Infectious Disease Section in Western Visayas, said only health frontliners of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital and the Riverside Medical Center Inc. in Bacolod City will be the initial recipients of the vaccines, none has been allocated for the rest of Negros Occidental yet.
“Our order of prioritization is our COVID referral facilities, specifically level 3 DOH, LGU and private hospitals,” Juanico said.
Lacson said they are appealing for the inclusion of frontliners in second and first level hospitals in Negros Occidental, too.
He is willing to be inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine, the governor said. However, the governor, who is 61-year-old, may not qualify for the vaccine because the Food and Drug Administration recommends that persons 60 years old and above should not be vaccinated with Sinovac.
The governor called on health workers to agree to be vaccinated with Sinovac vaccines if that is what is available so they can be protected.
“It is better to be vaccinated than just wearing face masks and shields. There is more protection if we have ourselves vaccinated, but of course after vaccination, we still have to maintain health standards,” he said.
Government employees cannot be compelled to be vaccinated if they do not want to, Lacson said.
However, getting vaccinated will be like one’s travel pass within the Philippines, he said.
Meanwhile, Lacson said they have decided to conduct a COVID-19 vaccination dry run in Murcia town, instead of Candoni, on March 12 so that it will be accessible to representatives of other local government units who will be invited to observe the process.
The provincial government has ordered 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines but no date has been given on when they will arrive, Lacson said.*