Senior citizens, health workers in Marawi get second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

John Unson ( – April 19, 2021 – 11:03am
MARAWI CITY, Philippines — A big number of senior citizens and health workers in Marawi City and from nearby towns got a second dose of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines during a three-day vaccination drive last week facilitated by the local government.

Physician Allen Minalang, with the help of Health Minister Bashary Latiph of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, supervised the three-day inoculation drive.

The Lanao del Sur-IPHO has just gotten more than 5,000 doses of Sinovac for Islamic preachers and Muslims slated to perform the hajj (pilgrimage) to Makkah, Saudi Arabia after the Ramadhan fasting season that started on April 13.

Latiph, a doctor, appealed on Monday to residents of the Bangsamoro region to ignore “fake news” spreading around and the misleading assertions by irresponsible Facebook users that COVID-19 vaccines can do more harm than good.

“We have to listen only to medical practitioners, particularly those in the Department of Health, the MOH-BARMM and the Integrated Provincial Health Office in each of the five BARMM provinces,” Latiph said.

Minalang and Gov. Mamintal Adiong Adiong Jr. have separately called on religious leaders and those who intend to perform the hajj in Saudi Arabia to have anti-COVID-19 jabs.

Adiong, as governor, is chairperson of the Lanao del Sur provincial disaster risk reduction and management council.

Minalang told reporters Monday their vaccine rollouts that commenced last March went on smoothly with the support of the PDRRMC and the MOH-BARMM.

Minalang said they are expecting the cooperation of the religious leaders in Marawi City and in Lanao del Sur with their April 19-21 vaccination campaign for constituents slated to leave the country for the pilgrimage. 


As It Happens

LATEST UPDATE: April 19, 2021 – 12:17pm

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)

April 19, 2021 – 12:17pm

The Department of Health approves the resumption of the distribution of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to persons below 60 years old.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire says this was upon the recommendation of the country’s Food and Drug Administration.

April 16, 2021 – 8:19am

As approved by the inter-agency task force on COVID-19, Priority Group A4 of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Development Plan will include:

  • commuter transport (land, air and sea), including logistics
  • public and private wet and dry market vendors 
  • frontline workers in groceries, supermarkets, delivery services 
  • workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products 
  • frontline workers in food retail, including food service delivery
  • frontline workers in private and government financial services 
  • frontline workers in hotels and accommodation establishments 
  • priests, rabbis, imams and other religious leaders 
  • security guards/personnel assigned in offices, agencies and organizations identified in the list of priority industries/sectors
  • frontline workers in private and government news media 
  • customer-facing personnel of telecoms, cable and internet service providers, electricity distribution and water distribution utilities
  • frontline personnel in basic education and higher education institutions and agencies 
  • overseas Filipino workers, including those scheduled for deployment within two months 
  • frontline workers in law/justice, security, and social protection sectors
  • frontline government workers engaged in the operations of government transport system, quarantine inspection worker safety inspection and other COVID-19 response activities 
  • frontline government workers in charge of tax collection, assessment of businesses for incentives, election, national ID, data collection personnel 
  • diplomatic community and Department of Foreign Affairs personnel in consular operations 
  • Department of Public Works and Highways personnel in charge of monitoring government infrastructure

April 15, 2021 – 2:28pm

The US, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will provide P170 million in support to help the Department of Health rollout the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

According to the US Embassy, the aid was announced by US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law during a visit to a Caloocan City vaccination site with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and other officials.

“Through this new funding, USAID will support the Philippines in strengthening the vaccine supply chain, monitoring vaccine safety, and delivering effective communication campaigns to address vaccine hesitancy.  This assistance will also support local government units as they plan for, track, and administer vaccines.”

April 13, 2021 – 8:42pm

Top US health authorities recommended a “pause” in the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” as they investigate any links between it and blood clots, a regulator said Tuesday.

The US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control are assessing the “potential significance” of six reported cases of a rare blood clot in patients who have received the shot, the FDA tweeted. 

“Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause,” it said.

The regulator said that as of Monday more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine had been administered in the US.

“CDC & FDA are reviewing data involving 6 reported U.S. cases of a rare & severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” the FDA stated on Twitter. — AFP 

April 13, 2021 – 11:20am

Some 20 million doses of Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in the Philippines within the next four months.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. says the government will sign a supply agreement with Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute this week.

“It can be used on the elderly, so from 18 and above. So we can use this and the good thing is at least in the absence of AstraZeneca, we can use this,” Galvez says in an interview with ANC’s “Headstart.”

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