More regional LGUs kick off vaccination program

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 5) — More local government units in the regions have started vaccinating their health workers.

A number of top government officials were present during the ceremonial vaccination held at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City on Friday. Hospital chief Dr. Ricardo Audan was first to be inoculated.

Audan earlier said 75% of their 5,900 employees expressed their willingness to receive vaccines made by China's Sinovac. He also said they target to vaccinate 150 employees on the first day, but did not mention what their daily target is.

The rollout for the first dose will last for two weeks, which will be followed by the administration of the second dose after 28 days.

Davao City on Tuesday received 12,000 doses of Sinovac's CoronaVac that were earmarked for SPMC and the Davao Regional Medical Center in Davao del Norte, where 79% are willing to receive Sinovac. The hospital will start vaccinating personnel on Monday.

Bicol also started the rollout of 1,200 Sinovac vaccines at the Bicol Regional Teaching and Training Hospital in Legazpi City. More than 800 of the facility's 1,871 medical staff signed up to be inoculated, according to Dr. Anna Lynda Bellen, spokesperson of BRTTH.

Three hospital officials were the first ones to be inoculated: Dr. Edberto General, head of Internal Medicine department, Dr. Raoul Emmanuel Zantua, head of Outpatient department, and Dr. Anna Lynda Bellen from the Infectious Disease department.

Some 7,200 doses of CoronaVac were also brought to Tacloban City. A ceremonial vaccination was also held at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Cabalawan, where hospital head Dr. Salvador Evardone was first to receive the vaccine.

Department of Health Eastern Visayas said 714 of around 1,000 staff of EVRMC are willing to be inoculated.

The hospital targets to vaccinate around 211 health workers in the first day of rollout. The program is expected to be completed in a week.

Leyte's Schistosomiasis Hospital and Divine Word Hospital also received, and will start their vaccination program on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Zamboanga Governor Maria Isabelle Climaco led the start of their vaccination program at the Zamboanga City Medical Center. Hospital chief Dr. Afdal Kunting, along with other department heads, were first the ones to be inoculated during the ceremony in the afternoon.

The city recently received 10,200 Sinovac vaccines that will be distributed to six COVID-19 referral hospitals in the region.

CNN Philippines correspondents Rosas Olarte and Wilmark Amazona contributed to this report.