One hundred Philippine General Hospital (PGH) personnel are expected to receive the coronavirus vaccine developed by China’s Sinovac on Monday, hospital director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi said.
The PGH executive said 96 individuals were vaccinated in an hour, higher than the expected turnout of 20 to 50 personnel for the first day.
“Nag-prepare kami ng mga 20 to 50 [doses] for today but Dr. Homer Co, who’s in charge of the micro planning, said ‘Hindi sir, palagay ko dadating ang mga tao’ and they did,” he said in a briefing.
“We are stopping it at 100 kasi pinangako natin ceremonial lang ito and we will prepare better for tomorrow but we’re happy with the turnout, 96 as it is now. Tatapusin po natin ‘yung 100 at bukas po mas papagandahin pa natin ang sistema,” he added.
Legaspi expressed optimism that more PGH staff will get vaccinated in the coming days after their internal surveys showed low interest in the Chinese vaccine.
“No’ng una kaming nag-survey ang lumabas lang ay una, 12% tapos habang tumatagal naging 8%, tapos ngayon naging 10%,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Legaspi became the first official recipient of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines.
A ceremony for the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the country was held to boost public confidence in the campaign after polls showed that only a low number of Filipinos are interested in getting inoculated.
Legaspi said health workers can decline the Sinovac jab but stressed that its emergency use authorization is backed by science.
“Sinabi ko po sa town hall… ang ating view sa vaccine hiwalay sa pulitika, hiwalay sa partido, hiwalay sa administrasyon, hiwalay sa paniniwala kundi batay sa siyensiya na malinaw,” he said.
The vaccine rollout followed the delivery of 600,000 Sinovac doses on Sunday afternoon.
Aside from PGH, vaccines will also go to the Lung Center of the Philippines, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and Sanitarium, PNP General Hospital, Pasig City General Hospital, and the V. Luna Medical Center. — RSJ, GMA News