Presidents of medical societies will be among the first recipients of the Sinovac vaccines in Bacolod City at rites set at the lobby of the Bacolod City Government Center at 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 5, City Administrator Em Ang said tonight, March 4.
The 3,200 vials of Sinovac vaccines for health frontliners in two Bacolod hospitals are scheduled to arrive at the Bacolod Silay Airport at 9 a.m. Friday, Ang, who is also the executive director of the Bacolod Emergency Operations Center, said.
Among the first to be vaccinated at the BCGC are Dr. Michael Salvador, president of the Philippine College of Physicians-Negros Occidental Chapter and Kanlaon Medical Society, and Dr. Miguel Sarabia, president of the Negros Occidental Medical Society.
Also set to be vaccinated is Dr. Hector Gayares, Bacolod Covid-19 Vaccination Council member, and Dr. Yvonne Cortez, an allergy specialist, Ang said.
Meanwhile, Ang said the number of health frontliners at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) and Riverside Medical Center Inc. (RMCI) to be covered by the first roll out of Sinovac vaccines this week who earlier agreed to be vaccinated could decrease.
The Department of Health list shows 3,135 health frontliners targeted for vaccination, with CLMMRH having 1,642 and RMCI – 1,493.
Ang said they will know before noon Friday how many health frontliners at the two hospitals have agreed to be vaccinated.
The first surveys conducted by the two hospitals were on the assumption that AstraZeneca vaccines would be used and above 50 percent of their staff agreed to be vaccinated, she said.
Since Sinovac vaccines are arriving the two hospitals are conducting new surveys, she said.
“According to the two hospitals the frontliners willing to be vaccinated could decrease”, Ang said.
If not all of the frontliners at the two Bacolod hospitals agree to be vaccinated, they have a substitution list of staff from other hospitals and the city health office willing to be vaccinated so the vaccines that will arrive will all be used, Ang said.
“None of the vaccines will go to waste,” she said.
Dr. Mary Johnson Cabaluna of the CLMMRH said they are conducting a new survey and the number of those who are willing to be vaccinated could go down because of the Food and Drug Administration recommendations.
Their previous survey showed that more than half of the CLMMRH staff were willing to be vaccinated, but they are conducting a resurvey since Sinovac vaccines are arriving, she said.
FDA recommends that the Sinovac vaccine should not be administered on persons 60 years and above, and there are personnel at the CLMMRH in that age bracket so they automatically will not be covered, she said.
That is because Sinovac conducted clinical trials on persons aged 18 to 59 only, Cabaluna said.
The FDA also recommends that the Sinovac vaccines only be administered to clinically healthy individuals, so those with uncontrolled diabetes, bronchial asthma, or been sick for the past two weeks may not be covered, she added.
Those who want to be covered despite the FDA recommendation can sign waivers so they can be vaccinated, she said.
CLMMRH aims to conduct its vaccination simulation on Monday and the actual vaccination on Tuesday.
Dr. Maria Antonia Gensoli, RMCI medical director, said they do not know the final number of their personnel who will be vaccinated yet.
“We do not have the numbers yet because this is a different vaccine from the ones we considered in the survey” earlier conducted, she said.
In the first RMCI survey 60 percent of their staff agreed to be vaccinated, Gensoli said.*