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Only 180 Tala frontliners willing to receive Sinovac shots but hospital exec sees no problem

Only 180 of the 1,165 surveyed at the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium (Tala Hospital) in Caloocan City are willing to receive Sinovac's vaccine against COVID-19, according to Mariz Umali's report on Unang Balita on Monday.

Some 600 vials of the vaccine good for 300 recipients have already been delivered to Tala Hospital, one of the COVID-19 referral hospitals in Metro Manila prioritized for the distribution of Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine.

Despite the comparatively low number of willing recipients, Dr. Alfonso Victorino Famaran, the hospital's medical center chief, said a contingency plan is in place so that the vaccines will not be wasted.

"Hindi ito masasayang, 'no? Number one, 'yung Sinovac, ang kaniyang shelf life is six months. Number 2, 'yung sobra kukunin ho yung pangalan dun sa tinatawag na quick substitution list," he said.

Famaran, who will be the first to receive the vaccine at the hospital, said those on the substitution list are from volunteers from other national government hospitals.

"Ang mga tao dito [sa list] o vaccinees na volunteers [ay] galing sa ibang national government hospitals para makabuo kami ng 300 vaccinees po," he said.

Famaran stressed that vaccination of CoronaVac will be purely on a voluntary basis.

"Wala itong puwersahan," he said. "Kung ayaw nila ng Sinovac na ito, ang kanilang option is to wait for the arrival [of the next vaccine], kung ano mang vaccine 'yun."

Vaccination of Tala's 1,911 employees, meanwhile, will depend on the availability of other brands of vaccines. —KBK, GMA News

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