Sinovac vaccines arrive at Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport on March 8, 2021

After a long wait, Negros Oriental received 5,400 vials of Sinovac vaccines from the national government, on Monday, March 8, 2021.

Dr. Liland Estacion, assistant provincial health officer, said most of the frontliners who initially consented to get inoculated with western brands “changed their minds.”

Estacion said that when frontliners in Manila and elsewhere in the country started receiving Sinovac shots, “many” decided to continue with the inoculation.

“The long wait is over!” Dr. Estacion exclaimed.

Sinovac vaccines arrived onboard a Philippine Airlines flight and were brought to Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital’s cold chain facility donated by Unicef.

In an interview, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH Central Visayas chief pathologist and regional spokesperson for the Covid-19 response, said the Sinovac shots Negros Oriental received were intended for frontliners at Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC), the only Level 3 hospital in the province.

However, Dr. Estacion clarified that under DOH guidelines, all medical workers at health care facilities handling Covid-19 cases would receive Sinovac allocations, especially those working in Covid-19 wards.

“All hospitals (in the province) will have a share of the vaccines, especially those frontliners actually caring for Covid-19 patients,” said Estacion.

Aside from SUMC, the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital, Siquijor Provincial Hospital, Ace Doctors, Holy Child Hospital, and Negros Polymedic Hospital will receive shots, based on a vaccination list submitted to the DOH, she said.

The Integrated Provincial Health Office and DOH have sent out shots to over 500 frontliners at SUMC and another 150 for Polymedic Hospital. Ryan Sorote