The Philippines successfully launched its Covid-19 vaccination program, with shots being given to frontline healthcare staff and top government officials at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) in an attempt to establish public trust in vaccination.
UP-PGH Director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi got the first dose of the Sinovac-made “CoronaVac” vaccine from China. Nurse Chareluck Santos administered the vaccine to the UP-PGH director.
“We have vaccinated around 96 individuals already in one hour. This is a lot more than we expected… we’re stopping at 100 and we will prepare better for tomorrow. Tatapusin po natin ang isang daan (We will vaccinate only about 100 today),” Legaspi stated.
Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Food and Drug Administration Director-General Eric Domingo, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Benhur Abalos, and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque are among the government officials who have lined up to get vaccinated with CoronaVac.
During a press briefing prior to the commencement of the ceremonial vaccination program, FDA Director-General Eric Domingo encouraged the public to undergo the vaccination.
“Huwag lang sana natin maging choice yung hindi magpapabakuna. Kasi ‘yung pagpapabakuna para sa Covid-19 para ‘yan sa sarili natin, para sa pamilya natin, tsaka para sa bansa natin (Let’s not choose not to get vaccinated. Because getting vaccinated for Covid-19 is for ourselves, for our family, and our country),” he said.
The Lung Center of the Philippines, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Center and Sanitarium, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, Philippine National Police General Hospital, and Victoriano Luna Medical Center are all holding simultaneous vaccinations in Metro Manila.
After Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca, Sinovac’s CoronaVac is the third Covid-19 vaccine brand to be approved for emergency use.