34 hospitals priority for first batch of COVID-19 vaccines

Personnel from 34 in the country will receive the first batch of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility of the World Health Organization, according to the Department of Health this Monday.

Almost all are from Metro Manila, except for one hospital in Cebu City and another hospital in City, according to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“We have 34 in all that are eligible to receive these Pfizer vaccines,” Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing.

She did not name the priority hospitals, but vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. mentioned the Philippine General Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital (Tala), Lung Center of the Philippines, East Avenue Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, and Southern Philippines Medical Center.

According to Vergeire, all priority met this Friday to discuss preparations for the arrival of about 117,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine.

Most have already submitted the list of hospital personnel who have registered to be vaccinated against COVID-19. But some hospitals are still waiting for the “quick substitution list.”

34 hospitals priority for first batch of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier, the government said it was important to prepare a list of substitutes to avoid wasting the COVID-19 vaccine in case the scheduled vaccine recipient does not show up.

“Ito pong mga ospital na ito, binigyan po ng directive that they should be able to submit to us their verified list of vaccinees plus their quick substitution list, ngayon po ito, over the weekend,” said Vergeire.

“Most of the hospitals were able to submit ‘yung kumpletong listahan. Mayroon lang pong mga ospital na ‘yung kanilang quick substitution list ay hindi pa po kumpleto, kaya kinu-kumpleto lang sa ngayon,” she added.

According to the DOH statement, the government has completed the first set of requirements for vaccines coming from the COVAX facility and is awaiting further requests from COVAX.

“The Philippine government has completed the first set of requirements set by COVAX which includes documents pertaining to the country’s readiness to receive vaccines, as well as the deployment plan. The government is now awaiting other documentary requirements which have yet to be provided by the COVAX Facility,” based on a statement.