Sixty minors aged 12 to 17 years old in Iloilo province were the first to receive their COVID-19 vaccines at the Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian town on Friday, November 5.
Provincial Health Office chief Dr. Maria Socorro Quiñon said there were no adverse events recorded following immunization.
She added that all rural health units can now administer vaccines province-wide.
Also present were Department of Health-Western Visayas director Dr. Adriano Suba-an, Provincial Administrator Suzette Mamon, Hospital Management Office chief Dr. Paz Calopiz, and other chiefs of the provincial government’s 13 hospitals attended the drive’s kick off event.
“Everyone’s excited. They were nervous at first, but after, they were happy showing off their vaccination card and taking pictures with the backdrop,” Quiñon said.
The Iloilo provincial government is targeting 227,662 children under the 12 to 17 years age bracket for COVID-19 vaccination, but only those pre-registered would be accommodated.
Defensor on Thursday, November 4, said that the province has enough supply of vaccines for the inoculation of minors.
He said that the province was still expecting an arrival of 51,120 doses of Sinovac, 20,000 doses of Sputnik V, and 10,140 vials of Pfizer.
Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is only one of two authorized by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration for the vaccination of minors.
“The vaccination of our minors comes with the sufficiency of our vaccines. We have extra vaccines especially that the national government is increasing our allocation,” the governor said.
The provincial government is recruiting 1,092 medical staff composed of 156 medical officers, 312 nurses, and 624 nursing attendants for additional vaccination teams.
COVID-19 vaccination data from the Iloilo Provincial Health Office as of November 3 showed that there were 374,462 adults who have been fully vaccinated, out of 548,901 who have received at least the first dose. –Rappler.com
Joseph B.A. Marzan is a Visayas-based journalist from Iloilo City and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.