DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The Davao City Health Office had vaccinated half of the city’s frontline health workers with the first tranche of vaccines against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and will await for the next tranche of vaccines in April.
City Health Officer and focal person on COVID-19 Dr. Ashley Lopez made this announcement recently, saying that out of the 21,442 city health workers, the city had inoculated 12,273 of them with the first roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines that started on March 12.
The city’s first tranche of the vaccines coming from the national government ended on March 24 as all 12,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines have been used while the 20,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine is almost used up, said Lopez.
“We have all accounted the vaccine supply because all were given and provided. There is no wastage as all the doses from the national government were accounted,” Lopez added.
Given the limited supply of vaccines, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has adopted the prioritization of vaccines putting frontline health workers on top of the vaccine distribution.
All the vaccines entering the country have come from donations, with Sinovac donated by the Chinese government and AstraZeneca coming from the rollout of the World Health Organization’s Covovax program.
Lopez said the vaccine rollout has extended to other health care workers in infirmaries, stand-alone clinics, dialysis centers, and other health care groups in need of the vaccine.
He said only a few of the health workers refused to have the vaccine during the first rollout.
“Out of the target population to be vaccinated, 88% have given their consent while 1.7% were deferred due to medical conditions such as hypertension. The refusal rate for Davao is only .1%,” Lopez said.
Health workers who had received the vaccines have not reported any severe adverse reactions, according to Lopez. He said the common effects after receiving the vaccines were mild symptoms such as soreness on the injection site and mild to moderate fever in the first 48 hours.
The second tranche of the city’s vaccine roll-out may start on the first week of April as the city is expecting an allocation of 1 million doses of Sinovac vaccines from China on March 29 as announced by the IATF vaccine head, Secretary Carlito Galvez.
The City Government of Davao has also negotiated with Astra Zeneca for the purchase of 80,000 doses expected for delivery on the third week of July while initial talks have been made with Novovax and Johnson&Johnson.