CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – On board Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight PR 2519, 17,400 doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac vaccine arrived here this morning, signaling the start of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in the region.
The vaccines, which were part of the 600,000 doses donated by China to the Philippines and arrived on February 28, were immediately transported to the storage facility of the Department of Health Region 10.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar welcomed the arrival of the vaccine. He was in the city in time for the regular meeting of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC 10).
“I am delighted to receive the good news that we are moving closer to achieving our goal of providing equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine, and further protecting the lives of the Filipino people from the pressing concerns brought by the COVID-19,” the PCOO chief said.
Secretary Andanar, the designated Cabinet Officer for Regional Development and Security for Northern Mindanao (CORDS X), is tasked to oversee the implementation of the development priority programs in the region.
“I am hoping that the successful commencement of the rollout of the vaccine in Metro Manila will encourage others to get vaccinated, because the life-threatening effects of the virus will remain if we choose otherwise. Above all, if not for ourselves, we should think about the welfare of those vulnerable members of our families,” he added.
According to DOH 10 Assistant Regional Director David Mendoza, these initial supplies will be allocated for the frontline healthcare workers in the region only, giving priority to third level hospitals. The inoculation is set to begin tomorrow Friday, March 5, 2021 at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC). Some 8,700 frontliners are expected to benefit from this.
“We will abide strictly by the guidelines given and we will administer it first in third level hospitals. Lower level hospitals and infirmaries that are willing to accept the vaccine will follow,” he said.
DOH 10 has also prepared its Quick Substitution List (QSL) to prevent wastage of the vaccines.