The COVID-19 vaccination drive in Bohol will start tomorrow instead of next week with the expected arrival of jabs from Chinese drugmaker Sinovac Biotech, said Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) medical chief Dr. Mutya Macuno on Friday.
According to Macuno, the rollout of the vaccines in Bohol will start earlier than expected as the national government expedited the dispatch of the vials to provinces after the country received 600,000 doses from Sinovac on March 1.
“Dunay bag-ong development sa national COVID-19 vaccination activity and advise na paspasan og distribute ang 600,000 doses of the Sinovac. Ni kalit sila og pahibaw na pag rollout nila sa vaccine didto Sotto [Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center], padalhan na kuno pud ang Gallares,” said Macuno.
According to the health official, the vaccine doses will be shipped from Cebu to Bohol this afternoon on board a Philippine Navy vessel.
Macuno said that the GCGMH was instructed by the Department of Health (DOH) to immediately start inoculation after receiving the vials.
The hastened allocation of the vaccines for Bohol was made after the DOH indicated that level three COVID-19-designated hospitals like the GCGMH will be prioritized in the distribution of the jabs.
The Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) said over 8,000 doses will be shipped to Bohol but Macuno clarified that the initial batch will only include 1,300 doses as noted by the DOH.
As with the rest of the country, the GCGMH will also be prioritizing the inoculation of medical frontliners.
“It’s going to be stored in our prepared storage area. This is initially for the Gallares staff as a level 3 hospital and as the Covid-designated hospital,” she said.
More to come
According to Macuno, doses from AstraZeneca are expected to be delivered to the province soon particularly when the initial allocation of Sinovac vaccines is depleted or at least halved.
“Ang plano once na ma spread nani or ma distribute nani siya or one half sa Sinovac, e-sunod na pud og deploy ang AstraZeneca,” she said.
Macuno said the DOH plans to inoculate 25,000 health workers in Central Visayas in the “next few days.”
More doses are expected to be dispatched across the county in the following week and would then also reach level two hospitals and infirmaries.
On Thursday night, the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines developed by British-Swede pharmaceutical AstraZeneca arrived in Manila.
The initial batch which was flown to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility included 487,200 vaccine doses.