COVID-19 vaccination for HCWs starts Monday

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Mar. 7 (PIA) -- Frontline healthcare workers (HCW) in South Cotabato and other parts of SOCCSKSARGEN Region will receive their first dose of Sinovac vaccines this week, an official of Integrated Provincial Health Office here confirmed.  

"As agreed in the coordination meeting with the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Police National Police (PNP), the vaccination of our healthcare workers is scheduled from March 8 to March 14, that is from Monday until Sunday," Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., provincial health officer of South Cotabato told Philippine Information Agency Saturday. 

Vaccination will be done in health facilities where the HCWs are employed, he added. 

"Each hospital has formed a vaccination team composed of 6 to 7 persons who are assigned to different tasks such as registration, counseling and screening, vaccination, and post vaccination monitoring," Dr. Arturdido said. 

At around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, IPHO South Cotabato received from DOH XII some 1,838 vials of CoronaVac vaccines developed by China-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. These are intended for the same number of HCWs in five COVID-19 referral hospitals in the province. 

Barely three hours from the time they received the vaccines, IPHO South Cotabato completed the dispatch of the Sinovac vaccines to the end user hospitals, in preparation for the vaccination activity on Monday.

These hospitals and the number of healthcare workers for whom the vaccines are intended are as follows: Dr. Arturo P. Pingoy Medical Center (358), Allah Valley Medical Specialist Center, Inc. (335), and South Cotabato Provincial Hospital (667) in Koronadal City;  Howard Hubbard Memorial Hospital (282) in Polomolok; and  SOCCSKSARGEN General Hospital (196) in Surallah. 

Aturdido clarified that although all eligible HCWs in these hospitals are allotted vaccines, receiving a shot of the vaccine is voluntary and covered by a waiver and consent. 

He said that as of Friday evening, some hospitals had reported that 85 to 90 percent of their HCWs are willing to be vaccinated with Sinovac.  

He expects the final figures to increase because HCWs who are still hesitant have up to seven days to decide to get vaccinated, which, he added, can immediately be accommodated since the vaccines are available at the health facility where they are working. 

"I urge everyone, please get vaccinated. Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the tools for us to eventually return to what we call as our new normal," Dr. Atudido said in a message to health workers.

IPHO South Cotabato expects the delivery of the second doses of the Sinovac vaccines from DOH XII in about 28 days. 

Unused vaccines will be reverted to the DOH XII, Aturdido said. (DED-PIA XII) 

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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