Sarangani first in Soccsksargen to roll out vaccines

NOW PROTECTED. Dr. Aileen Brion, chief of Sarangani Health Care Facility (SHCF), gets her first dose of the Sinovac vaccine from midwife Donnyboy Villajuan as Sarangani province starts Sunday morning (March 7, 2021) the inoculation of its front-line health care workers against Covid-19. Dr. Brion and Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Sarangani health officer, simultaneously received the vaccines, the first in Region 12 (Soccsksargen), during the formal launching around 9 a.m. in Alabel town. (PNA photo by Richelyn Gubalani)

ALABEL, Sarangani – Healthcare workers in Sarangani province started receiving the Sinovac vaccines on Sunday, making them the first in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) to be inoculated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Dr. Aileen Brion, chief of the Sarangani Health Care Facility (SHFC) here, and Dr. Arvin Alejandro, acting provincial health officer, were the first to receive the initial doses of the vaccine past 9 a.m. amid cheers from other health workers.

The historic vaccination activity, which was administered by trained midwives from the municipal health office of Malapatan, was conducted inside the SHFC, one of the province’s two main referral hospitals for Covid-19 patients.

Alejandro said he generally felt good after getting his first dose of the Sinovac vaccine and at the same time relieved with the rollout of the vaccination program.

He urged other health workers to also get inoculated so they can likewise be protected from the highly contagious and potentially deadly disease.

“I assure everyone that this vaccine, like the others provided by the national government, is safe and effective,” he told reporters.

Before getting the vaccines, Alejandro and Brion underwent proper screening and assessment by the province’s medical team.

They were asked to disclose their medical history, current health condition, possible maintenance medicine they were taking as well as underwent laboratory examination.

As part of the process, they were subjected to observation for 30 minutes to one hour for possible adverse effects that might emerge and were eventually cleared.

Brion, who was called along with Alejandro as “champions” of Covid-19 vaccination in the area, said she expects that more frontline health workers will signify to get the vaccines as they continue with its rollout.

“We’re hoping that all our workers will eventually get vaccinated,” she said.

The provincial health office of Sarangani and the Department of Health-Region 12 targeted a total of 336 local health care workers as priorities for the Sinovac inoculation.

These comprise 162 workers assigned at the SHCF, also known as the provincial hospital, and 174 at the Dr. Cornelio C. Martinez Hospital in Kiamba town.

As of 11 a.m., nearly 100 personnel or 60 percent of the workers of the SHFC have already received the vaccines while 11 asked for deferment.

Rogelyn Datulayta, SHCF nurse, said she did not hesitate to get inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine to ensure her protection while continually attending to Covid-19 patients.

“This is also to protect my family and other people that I regularly engage with as well,” she told the Philippine News Agency.

Dr. Sharir Dulduco, DOH provincial officer for Sarangani and General Santos City, said the province decided to start their vaccination early to ensure the unhampered operations of their Covid-19 referral facilities.

He said other areas in Soccsksargen will simultaneously start the inoculation on Monday based on an advisory from DOH-12.

Nearly 9,000 frontline health workers in 23 Covid-19 referral hospitals in the region are targeted to get the Sinovac vaccines in the next seven days.

Dulduco said the vaccine recipients will receive their second dose or booster shots after 28 days. (With a report from Allen V. Estabillo/PNA)

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