DAVAO CITY - Davao Region on Thursday morning received an additional 111,150 doses of Pfizer vaccine as parts of Mindanao were experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The anti-coronavirus jabs arrived at Davao International Airport and were transported to the region's health ministry for storage.
Some 44,800 doses of Sinovac vaccines also arrived in Davao City Wednesday.
Dr. Anabelle Yumang, the region's health director, said the Pfizer vaccines would be allocated to Southern Philippines Medical Center and other hospitals in Davao City.
"Hindi pa ma-distribute sa provinces because wala pang ultra-low freezer," she said.
(These can't be distributed to provinces yet because they don't have ultra-low freezer.)
Since the region started its inoculation program, more than 193,000 individuals have received their first dose. Of the number, over 102,000 were from Davao City.
Health Undersecretary Dr. Abdullah Dumama said they were expecting another batch of Pfizer vaccines for Davao Region Friday.
As vaccine supplies have arrived, he urged the public to get coronavirus shots.
"Once you get your jab, you are guaranteed of not suffering from severe and critical effects of the virus. You will not get admitted. You will not be needing intensive care," Dumama said.
City Health Office acting head Dr. Ashley Lopez bared on Thursday there were 2 deaths that could be related to the vaccination but they were still investigating both incidents.
"We have reportedly 2 deaths, which are somehow related to our vaccination, pero under investigation pa po ito ng ating ahensiya (but this is still under investigation in our agency) and I cannot still give any details on this one," he said.
However, Lopez said only a handful incidents were considered serious. He assured Davaoeños the vaccines are safe and effective.
Meanwhile, the city health office also reacted on the statement of an OCTA Research Group fellow saying that Davao City is among the country's "epicenters" of COVID-19.
"I would admit that we have that case pero hindi naman kasi every week gano'n ang cases ng Davao (but it's not like that every week here in Davao). It somehow bumababa, tumataas (going down, going up)," Lopez said.
He said Davao City started experiencing an uptick in coronavirus infections on April 28 and had never went down in May.
"I would consider that still we are in an ongoing surge until right now," Lopez said.
City health office assistant head Dr. Marjorie Culas said the positivity rate in Davao City on Wednesday was at 11 percent, higher than the threshold the World Health Organization has set that is at 5 percent.
She said home and workplace transmission were also high.
The presence of new variants and the arrival of Davaoeños from the National Capital Region during the surge of cases there were among the reasons for the spike, Lopez said.
Davao City currently has 18,835 total COVID-19 cases, with 187 new cases logged on June 9. Active cases in the city reached 2,830.
-- Report from Hernel Tocmo