COVID-19 frontliners elated as Sinovac jabs arrive in BARMM

John Unson ( – March 5, 2021 – 9:55am
COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Anti-COVID-19 frontliners in the Bangsamoro region were elated with the national government’s supply of 2,100 doses of Sinovac to protect them from the infectious disease, which has so far infected 584,667 in the country.

Physician Amirel Usman, acting health minister of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said Friday the vaccines are intended for health workers and essential service providers in the forefront of BARMM’s war on COVID-19.

“Our frontliners are happy with this,” he said.

Usman and physician Zul Qarneyn Abas, also a senior official of the Ministry of Health-BARMM, led the medical team that fetched from the Maguindanao Airport the vaccines that arrived from Manila, brought in by a passenger plane.

Usman said the shipment consisted of 4,200 vials of Sinovac.

The 4,200 doses are for 2,100 anti-COVID-19 frontliners in the Bangsamoro region, who shall have two jabs each.

The MOH-BARMM and the Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence, or READI contingent, are working together in pushing the anti-coronavirus containment efforts of the Bangsamoro government forward.

“This shall be the initial stage of our vaccination program in the Bangsamoro region,” Usman said Thursday.

He said the vaccines that arrived Thursday are intended for 1,400 frontliners in Maguindanao, 972 in Lanao del Sur, 287 in Basilan, 1,032 in Sulu and 518 in Tawi-Tawi.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, BARMM’s local government minister, said Thursday the Bangsamoro leadership is thankful to the national government for supplying vaccines for 2,100 regional anti-COVID-19 frontliners.

“We are so thankful for this support,” Sinarimbo, also BARMM’s regional spokesperson, said.

Sinarimbo is overseeing the operation of READI that has teams of calamity and disaster response experts directly involved in BARMM’s anti-COVID-19 campaign.

A number of BARMM-READI personnel survived COVID-19 infections last year, apparently contracted while working in the field.

As It Happens

LATEST UPDATE: March 4, 2021 – 7:23pm

The national government has so far secured two official deals for COVID-19 vaccine supplies in the Philippines, one with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and another with the Serum Institute of India.

Watch this space for bite-sized developments on the vaccines in the Philippines. (Main image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash)

March 4, 2021 – 7:23pm

The plane carrying AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility has landed at Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

Photo: PCOO-Office of Global Media and Public Affairs

March 4, 2021 – 10:13am

At least 8,559 persons have received the first dose of Sinovac vaccine as of March 3, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles.

These were administered in 32 sites in Metro Manila.

The Cabinet official adds that 189,600 of the 600,000 donated Sinovac vaccines ahve already been delivered.

March 3, 2021 – 3:18pm

Contradicting Malacanang, vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. says he cannot confirm the arrival of initial shipments of the AstraZeneca vaccines from the Covax facility.

“I cannot confirm yet. Dalawang beses na kaming nakuryente diyan. Mabuti i-confirm ‘pag may plane nang lumipad from Belgium,” Galvez was quoted, as reported by ABS-CBN News.

March 3, 2021 – 2:30pm

An initial shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility are expected to arrive on Thrusday, March 4, the Palace says.

The shipment will have 487,200 and will arrive around 7:30 p.m., the Palace also says. This is down from the 527,600 doses earlier announced to arrive on March 1, and that did not, in fact, arrive.

March 3, 2021 – 10:58am

IATF member and DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra says persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who are senior citizens are included in the government’s priority list for its COVID-19 mass vaccination program.

The IATF, however, has not mentioned PDLs as a specific group in its classification of persons for priority vaccination.

“So when we speak of senior citizens as a priority group, this will cut across a broad range of individuals, including those serving time or under detention, in their own internal order of preference,” Guevarra says. —  report from The STAR/Evelyn Macairan

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