The director University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) receives the first official COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines.
Dr. Gerardo Legaspi on Monday was injected with the Chinese vaccine CoronaVac from Sinovac Biotech. The inoculation was done during a ceremonial vaccination at the UP-PGH grounds attended by government officials.
Nurse Chareluck Santos administered the vaccine.
“Si Dr. Legaspi ang nanguna sa atin sa laban na ito kaya karapat-dapat lang na siya ang unang tumanggap ng ating bakuna,” PGH spokesperson Dr. Jonas Del Rosario said.
(Dr. Legaspi led us in this fight so he deserves to be the first to receive our vaccine.)
“Kayong dalawa ay nasa kasaysayan na ng COVID-19 (You two are already in the history of COVID-19),” he added, referring to Legaspi and Santos.
The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines, CoronaVac from the Chinese company Sinovac, arrived this Sunday.
At around 4:10 pm, a Chinese military cargo plane landed at Villamor Air Base in Pasay, carrying 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Sinovac.
President Rodrigo Duterte himself led the welcome ceremony for the vaccines, along with some government officials.
PGH director receives first official COVID-19 vaccine in PH
When Duterte arrived at the airbase, he was immediately greeted by the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian.
Duterte, along with other officials such as Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, personally inspected the crates of vaccine donations.
Legaspi earlier said that 94% of PGH’s workers are willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
However, he clarified that the employees had Pfizer vaccines in mind at the time since the 117,000 doses from the American manufacturer were supposed to arrive in mid-February.
“Bago pa man po malaman ng mga tao ng PGH noong early January kung anong bakuna ang darating, ang aming initial survey… 75% are willing to have the vaccine, so I hope we still get that 75% of our population and it will still be a good number,” he said.
“Hindi naman porket nabakunahan ng Sinovac ay walang proteksyon. Ang ibig lang sabihin, ang proteksyon niya ay hindi as high to prevent mild symptoms from occurring, which probably magiging dahilan to para hindi makapasok ang HCWs sa ospital,” he added.