COVID-19 vaccines

Cebu City stops vaccinating senior citizens after a week due to supply shortage

Ryan Macasero
Cebu City stops vaccinating senior citizens after a week due to supply shortage

VACCINATIONS. Senior Citizens get vaccinated in Cebu City. Photo from Cebu City Public Information Office

Photo from Cebu City Public Information Office

Less than 6% of senior citizens in Cebu City are vaccinated before inoculations are temporarily halted after supplies run out

Exactly a week after beginning vaccinations for senior citizens, Cebu City temporarily halts vaccinations as supplies have already run out.

“The Cebu City Vaccine Operations Center will not be vaccinating in its 3 sites on Monday, April 26, because no new supplies have arrived,” the Cebu City Public Information Office said in a Facebook post.

The city only began inoculating senior citizens on Monday, April 19.

“We encourage everyone not to go to the vaccination sites and wait for the announcement for the next schedule of vaccinations,” they added. Cebu City currently has 3 vaccination sites running at the Robinsons Galleria, SM Seaside, and University of Cebu’s Banilad campus.

Local health officials, however, do not know exactly when new vaccines will arrive. 

“We’re waiting for the new vaccines this week,” Dr Mary Jean Loreche, Department of Health (DOH) Central Visayas’ spokesperson said in a press briefing Monday afternoon, April 26.

The DOH’s central office said earlier Monday that it is replenishing the vaccine stockpile of local government units (LGUs) within the day. They did not specify which LGUs would get their vaccine stocks replenished first.

Malacañang earlier attributed the delay of a new stock of vaccines to “paperwork.” 

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In Cebu City alone, only 4,924 senior citizens – or 5.6% of eligible seniors – have received their first dose of Sinovac out of the total 88,000 senior citizens on the master list.

As of Monday, the region has received 178,560 vaccine doses. 

This includes 148,560 doses of sinovac and 30,000 doses of AstraZeneca. 

Loreche said they are expecting to get doses of Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer and Russia’s Sputnik V, which were all previously granted emergency approval by the national government. 

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Separately, the Cebu City government’s order of Astra Zeneca and Novavax is expected to arrive in July or August. These vaccines were purchased through a tripartite agreement with the national government worth P200 million.  – Rappler.com

Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers Cebu and the Visayas for Rappler. He covers all news in the region, but is particularly interested in people stories, development issues and local policy making.