14,400 doses of Sinovac vaccines arrive in Region 1

SAN FERNANDO CITY, Mar. 5 (PIA) – A total of 14,400 doses of CoronaVac vaccines have arrived in Region 1 on Thursday.

This first batch of vaccines is part of the 600,000 doses donated by the China-based Sinovac Biotech Limited that arrived in the country on Feb. 28.

The cold storage truck that transported the vaccines departed from the Department of Health’s (DOH) warehouse in Marikina City at around 11:11 a.m. on Thursday and reached the DOH Region 1 at 4:44 p.m.

They were immediately transferred to the cold storage facility of the regional health department.

In a press conference held in welcoming the vaccines, DOH-CHD1 Regional Director Valeriano Lopez said 7,907 workers in the frontline health facilities in the region will soon get their doses of vaccine for COVID-19.

“The long wait is over. The vaccines are here and now we can start our journey towards the new normal,” Lopez said.


PIA-1 Regional Director Jennilyne Role (first from right) moderates the press confence with panelists from the DOH-CHD1 on March 4, 2021 following the arrival of the Sinovac vaccines in Region 1. (JPD)


The vaccines will be distributed among the eight hospitals in the Ilocos Region namely: Region 1 Medical Center and Pangasinan Provincial Hospital (Pangasinan); Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center and La Union Medical Center (La Union); Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, Gov. Roque Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital, and Laoag City General Hospital (Ilocos Norte); and Ilocos Sur Provincial Hospital (Ilocos Sur).

He, however, underscored that despite the arrival of the vaccines, the general public is still advised to continue being proactive in observing minimum health protocols amid the pandemic.

Further, John Paul Aquino, regional focal for immunization of the DOH-CHD1, said they are set to deliver the vaccines to the identified hospitals for consumption within five to seven days.  

“Kung handa nang tumanggap ang identified facilities ay agad po tayong maghahatid ng bakuna sa kanila dahil ito po ang gusto ng ating Presidente na ang pagbabakuna ay agad-agad,” Aquino said.


John Paul Aquino, regional focal for immunization of the DOH-CHD1, said they are set to deliver the vaccines to the identified hospitals for consumption within five to seven days.  


He added that although the vaccines can be stored up to three years, they intend to promptly roll out the vaccination program to the initial target population in the region.

“Gusto po natin na maibigay agad sa health care workers at para maisunod natin agad 'yong iba pang mga eligible population,” he said.

Also, Medical Officer IV Rheuel Bobis informed that there are about 1.6 million priority eligible recipients in the region to include health care workers, senior citizen, uniformed personnel, and indigent citizens.

“Kailangan munang mabakunahan itong 1.6 million target before we could jump sa iba pang priority population,” Bobis said.

He also said that continuous information drive about the vaccine is being conducted to convince more people to get vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rosario Pamintuan, head of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the DOH-CHD1, said for cases where adverse effects following immunization (AEFI) may be experienced by vaccinees, the list of referral facilities and point persons has been updated.

Also, she said that all those who will be vaccinated will be monitored for one year for any occurrence of AEFI.

“May mga benefit packages na nakalaan para sa mga pasyente na magkakaroon ng AEFI,” she said.


Dr. Rosario Pamintuan, head of the RESU-HEMS of DOH-CHD1, said they will closely monitor vaccinees for one year for any cases of adverse effects following immunization. 


The health experts, however, stressed that the most usual side effect after getting the shot is redness or swelling at the site of injection.

Headache, fatigue, aching limb, or possibly fever that can last up to three days are also common.

In closing, Regional Director Lopez urged the health care workers in the region to get vaccinated citing that Sinovac vaccine can prevent mild cases at 50 percent, 78 percent for moderate cases,  and 100 percent for severe cases.

“As of this time, this is the best that we have, so let us take advantage of it not only for our protection but for our families that we go home to every day,” he said.

Following the arrival of the vaccines, the Logistics Team of the Regional Vaccination Operation Center will deliver 2,000 doses to R1MC, 700 doses to LUMC,  and 1,000 doses to ITRMC on Friday.  (JCR/AMB/JPD, PIA La Union)


Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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