Cebu’s COVID vaccination kicks off this week, signals region’s economic recovery

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine is set to arrive in Cebu by the first week of March. As the Philippines’ vaccination program officially kicked off in Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) announced that doses allotted for Cebu and Davao are already in transit.

“We are already transporting the vaccine this coming March 3 and 4 to Cebu, and to Davao on March 5 and 6,” vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. told the media. The official also committed an ‘equitable distribution’ of Sinovac dosses across the country. He also disclosed that allocated vaccines to the Visayan Region will be delivered to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

DOH-7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche has also confirmed that the province will begin its vaccination program as soon as the doses arrive, prioritizing the medical frontliners and local healthcare workers. “Based on the meeting this morning (Sunday), the target for Visayas (Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center), is March 4,” Dr. Loreche said.

To prepare for the vaccination roll out, the local government of Cebu has already started profiling priority groups who will receive the vaccine. According to local officials, this step is crucial to prevent any complications as senior citizens and other sectors of the community get inoculated.

Improving economy

Dr. Loreche also confirmed that the province will remain to be under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) until March 15 as advised by the DOH’s technical advisory council (TAC). This earned the nod of Cebu’s business sector which expressed that the economic revival of the province and its tri-cities: Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu would greatly rely on a successful vaccination program against the pandemic.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Felix Taguiam also expressed his support for the local vaccination program, saying that this should be the signal the recovery of the economy in Cebu and the Visayas.

“We have to do more. At least we can go on with the economy at work which will surely help so many people. Minimum health standards must be strictly enforced by our authorities with no special treatment and we are hoping in the next few weeks, we will see the downtrend,” he said.

He also urged member organizations and companies to allocate budget for the vaccination of their employees to ensure their safety as the province slowly reopen its economy amid the pandemic.

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