PH COVID-19 inoculation drive to boost vaccine confidence: testing czar

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 01 2021 09:47 AM | Updated as of Mar 01 2021 09:59 AM

Health workers and frontliners go through a screening process as part of COVID-19 vaccination simulation at the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City on February 09, 2021. The screening process includes counselling for people who are undecided to take the vaccine. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The inoculation of government officials and medical authorities against the coronavirus will boost vaccine confidence in the Philippines, one of the country's COVID-19 czars said Monday ahead of the vaccination program rollout.

The first person to be vaccinated in the country with Chinese jab CoronaVac is Philippine General Hospital chief Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi, said coronavirus testing czar Vince Dizon.

Legaspi will be followed by infectious disease specialist Dr. Edsel Salvana, Dizon added.

"These two people I think alone will entice many of our healthcare professionals and people in general to get vaccinated because if the most respected medical professionals trust the vaccines irregardless of brand, I think other people will follow," he told ANC's Headstart.

"I think with the support of the medical community as well as key government officials like Secretary (Carlito) Galvez, I think people will slowly but surely increase in confidence. The vaccination program is really part of the COVID response that will bring us back to how things were before COVID-19."

Dizon said he would also get inoculated with the Chinese vaccine, being the third in line at the Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital (Tala Hospital) in Caloocan, where 178 healthworkers will receive the jab.

The COVID-19 referral hospital's medical director Alfonso Famaran will be the first followed by head nurse Sam Sumilang, according to Dizon.

"We always have to remember that vaccination is not 100 percent. We still have to wear masks, wash our hands, do distancing until the time comes we get herd immunity," he added.

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