BUTUAN CITY – Around 56,000 medical frontliners and hospital staff in COVID-19 referral hospitals will be the first in line to get vaccinated with the 117,000 Pfizer doses that will be supplied through the COVAX facility and will arrive in the country this month.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar announced this during the Pagdu-aw sa Butuan City: Explain, Explain, Explain Town Hall Meeting here on Tuesday, February 9, 2021.
“Sa atong pag-atubang sa tuig 2021, gilauman na magsugod na ang gobyerno sa pag-implementa sa national COVID-19 vaccination program sa karun nga bulan, ug anaa sa mga 56,000 ka mga health workers ang inisyal nga mabakunahan gikan sa upat ka referral hospitals sa Metro Manila. Musunod na sab ang ubang healthcare workers sa lain pang referral hospitals sa Metro Manila, Cebu City, ug Davao City. [As we move forward this 2021, the government is set to roll out the national COVID-19 vaccination program this month with an initial target of 56,000 healthcare workers in 4 referral hospitals in Metro Manila. Next in line will be healthcare workers in other COVID-19 referral hospitals in Metro Manila, Cebu City, and Davao City],” he said.
There were already 4 proposed referral hospitals in Metro Manila for the first tranche of inoculation. These are the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila, Lung Center of the Philippines and East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City, and Dr. Jose Natalio Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center (Tala Hospital) in Caloocan City.
He stressed that the government will still prioritize health workers, senior citizens, and uniformed personnel for the vaccination.
The PCOO chief further discussed that the national government has already signed term sheets with five vaccine companies, which will assure delivery of up to 108 million doses this year.
“Sa pagklaro, ang kagamhanan midumili sa polisiya nga mupabor lamang sa espisipiko nga vaccine brand o gigikanang nasud. Sa gilagdaan nga kasabotan sa lima ka pharmaceutical company, gisuguro na sa kagamhanan na makadawat na ta og 108 million doses karung tuig [The government does not have any policy which favors a specific vaccine brand or country from which it originates. Through the signed term sheets with five pharmaceutical companies, we have ensured to receive up to 108 million doses this year],” he said.
The Pagdu-aw: Explain, Explain, Explain, an information drive led by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), aims to inform and explain to the public the processes undertaken by the national government to ensure safe and effective vaccines, and to raise the willingness of Filipinos to be vaccinated.
Aside from the local government unit of Butuan City, representatives from the national government agencies were also present, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Spokesperson Director Irene Dumlao, PIA Director General Ramon Cualoping III, and provincial representative of the Department of Agriculture through Agriculture Provincial Officer for Agusan del Norte Edilmira Luminarias.
Butuan City is the first leg of the series of information drives across the region this week. Other target venues for the activity are Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur; Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; and Sison, Surigao del Norte.
In his message, Sec. Andanar vowed that the PCOO and its attached agencies will continue to intensify its efforts on information dissemination.
“As the lead communications arm of the government, the PCOO continues to operate its Laging Handa Information and Communications Campaign to assure the public that the Duterte administration is on top of the COVID-19 situation in the country,” he said.
He also noted that the Filipino community has maintained to value resilience amid difficult situations, including the pandemic and impacts of natural disasters.
He committed that the Duterte administration will continue to be proactive in its responses to ensure delivery of programs and services to the public.
“Sa liderato ni Presidente Rodrigo Duterte, proactive kita sa pagpaningkamot nga mapahatud sa katawhan ang mga responses ug programs sa kagamhanan [Through the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, we are proactive in striving to deliver to the people the responses and programs of the government],” he said. ###