LAOAG CITY – Four top doctors in Ilocos Norte took the lead in receiving Sinovac shots against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on Saturday in the hope of boosting the people’s confidence in the vaccine.
Dr. Norman Rabago, Ilocos Norte vaccination head, and Dr. Walberg Samonte, medical director of the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital (GRBASMH) here, volunteered to be injected in public to set as an example to the 87 potential vaccinees who registered in the hospital.
At the Laoag City General Hospital (LCGH), Dr. Crizelda C. Derpo, a medical and infectious specialist, got the first Sinovac vaccine injection.
The ceremonial vaccination rollout was witnessed by some employees of the city government led by Mayor Michael Keon and 61 other health care worker-vaccinees of the hospital.
Dr. Eliezer John Asuncion, the hospital administrator of the LCGH, said more than 170 health care workers registered for the vaccine rollout but only 62 vaccines were initially allocated for the Laoag hospital.
In Batac City, some 750 health care workers led by Dr. Jose Orosa, chief of the medical professional staff of the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, signed up for the vaccination program but only 80 were expected to get their shots.
Before the simultaneous vaccination rollout in the three Covid-19 referral hospitals of Ilocos Norte, Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc said the Sinovac vaccine has been tried by leading doctors in the country and there has been no significant side effect observed.
“I believe the benefits outweigh the risk and we just need confidence in taking the vaccine,” Manotoc said, adding the first vaccination rollout in Ilocos Norte is indeed a “happy day” as it gives new hope for the people to move on to the new normal.
He, however, reminded the public to continue maintaining minimum health and safety protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and face shields at all times.
On Friday evening, Manotoc, along with his Covid-19 team at the Capitol, received a total of 2,446 doses of Sinovac from the Department of Health 1 (Ilocos Region). Leilanie Adriano / PNA – northboundasia.com