BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The provincial government of Negros Occidental has requested 5,000 to 6,000 doses of newly-arrived Astrazeneca vaccines for medical personnel assigned in provincial and locally-managed hospitals in the province.
This was revealed yesterday by Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, whose request was made through the office of Senator Bong Go, while former Rep. Alfredo Benitez, who got in touch with vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, also informed him that he is doing his best to bring in a share from the batch of Astrazeneca vaccines that arrived.
“It could be as early as this week, or could be later,” Lacson, who will be optimistic that Negros Occidental will get its share.
The Philippines has so far received a total of 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, of which 600,000 doses are Sinovac vaccines donated by the Chinese government, with 525,600 AstraZeneca vaccines from the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.
A total of 6,270 doses of Sinovac have been earmarked for medical frontliners of Riverside Medical Center and Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, all in highly-urbanized Bacolod City, and other health workers.
Lacson said he wants to make sure that the second doses of AstraZeneca vaccines will be available. If they give us 5,000 to 6,000, half of that will be for the first dose, he said.
There are about 8,000 medical frontliners in the 31 LGUs of Negros Occidental, also including all provincial, or LGU-managed hospitals.
Lacson clarified that the AstraZeneca vaccines being negotiated for Negros Occidental, is not yet the vaccines ordered by the provincial government. “This is a free vaccine given by the national government, who will decide, to whom they will dispatch it, ” he added.
The Covid-19 vaccination dry run of the provincial government of Negros Occidental is slated on March 12 in Murcia town.
We are now ready for our frontliners, especially that of the provincial government, to be vaccinated, Lacson said.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said that the government is eyeing to vaccinate all health workers in the country by the end of March or early April this year.*