Cagayan de Oro way ahead of COVID-19 vaccination schedule

Herbie Gomez

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Cagayan de Oro way ahead of  COVID-19 vaccination schedule

FIRST JAB. Cagayan de Oro health care personnel get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines.

Cagayan de Oro Public Information Office

At the rate the vaccine program is moving, and if the vaccines keep arriving, the first non-health care personnel may get their first jab this month

Cagayan de Oro is way ahead of its COVID-19 vaccination program schedule, and officials here said they were looking forward to giving the first shot to a non-frontliner before the 2nd quarter.

“If the vaccines keep on coming, we might start vaccinations for non-health workers ahead of schedule,” said Dr William Bernardo, head for logistics of the local COVID-19 inter-agency task force.

Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno said local officials and the frontliners here were in high spirits at the rate things were moving. He said the city’s elderly would be the first non-health workers to be vaccinated after the frontliners.

“We’re looking at around 80,000 senior citizens or even more throughout the city,” Bernardo told Rappler.

First batch of Sinovac vaccines arrive in Cagayan de Oro, March 6,, 2021.
Cagayan de Oro public information office

Dr Ellenietta Gamolo, acting director of the Department of Health (DOH) in Region X (Northern Mindanao), received the second batch of vaccines at the Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental Wednesday morning, March 10.

The 22,000 doses of AztraZeneca vaccines, donated to the government, would be used on some 10,000 doctors, nurses, medical technicians, and other hospital workers in the frontlines of the region’s campaign to keep COVID-19 from further spreading.

Bernardo said he expected at least half of the vaccines to be used in Cagayan de Oro, the regional center. The bulk of the first batch of CoronaVac vaccines arrived here Friday, March 6.

CoronaVac is the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech.

Cagayan de Oro alone has roughly 13,000 health workers, and most have already received their first doses of CoronaVac since the weekend.

The rule, according to Bernardo, is that those who received the first shots of Sinovac vaccines should get the 2nd doses after 21 days. In the case of AstraZeneca vaccines, they should get their second jabs after 28 days.

“If the first shot was Sinovac, the 2nd should also be Sinovac. It’s the same thing for those who will receive doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines. It cannot be a mix of Sinovac and AstraZeneca,” he said.

Bernardo said Cagayan de Oro has almost used up the Sinovac vaccines given last week. Health officials are now preparing to administer the AstraZeneca vaccines to local health workers as soon as the city receives its allocation from the health department. –

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Herbie Gomez

Herbie Salvosa Gomez is coordinator of Rappler’s bureau in Mindanao, where he has practiced journalism for over three decades. He writes a column called “Pastilan,” after a familiar expression in Cagayan de Oro, tackling issues in the Southern Philippines.