St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) in Quezon City and Bonifactio Global City (BGC) have requested for 5,000 doses of the Sinovac-made vaccines donated by China to the Philippines, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday.
In a televised meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte and his pandemic response managers, Galvez said SLMC President and CEO, Dr. Arturo De La Peña, texted him about his interest to have 5,000 healthcare workers and employees inoculated with the Sinovac vaccine.
“Nabigla po kami. Ang St. Luke’s humingi po ng 5,000 [doses] para sa 5,000 nilang tao na Sinovac. Nakita natin yung St. Luke’s ang gusto niyan Pfizer at saka ano po, pero nagtext po sa’kin si Dr. [De La] Peña and magkakaroon po kami ng mini rollout sa dalawang St. Luke’s Medical Center sa Global at saka sa Quezon City para magkaroon po ng mataas sa uptick (We were surprised. St. Luke’s asked for 5,000 doses to inoculate their 5,000 workers. St. Luke’s used to say they preferred Pfizer but Dr. [De La] Peña texted me and now we’re going to have a mini rollout in St. Luke’s Medical Center in Global and Quezon City to create an uptick),” said Galvez, who is chief implementer of the National Task Force Against Covid-19.
Duterte, for his part, thanked St. Luke’s officials for their cooperation in helping boost confidence in the government’s Covid-19 vaccination program.
“We appreciate any and every cooperation offered to us at this time. Kung sasali yung St. Luke’s then papasalamat tayo (If St. Luke’s will join, then we’ll thank them). They can also help spread really the vaccine as fast as it can be accommodated by the time and motion of a human being,” he added.
On Sunday, the Philippines received the initial 600,000 doses of Sinovac-made CoronaVac vaccines donated by China to the Philippines in a simple turnover ceremony led by Duterte at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
Sinovac’s CoronaVac is the third Covid-19 vaccine brand after Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use.
The government kicked off its Covid-19 vaccination drive on Monday with shots administered to some frontline healthcare workers at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) and ranking government officials.
UP-PGH Director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi was the first person to receive the CoronaVac vaccine. He was vaccinated by nurse Chareluck Santos.
Galvez and FDA Director General Eric Domingo were also administered with the Sinovac vaccine.
Apart from PGH, simultaneous vaccinations were held in five other hospitals in Metro Manila namely, 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.
Health authorities are hopeful that vaccine confidence will increase once more medical workers get their Covid-19 jabs. (PNA)