‘Beginning of the end’

Published March 4, 2021, 5:57 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

Cebu COVID vaccination

CEBU CITY – The COVID-19 vaccination program in Cebu was underway yesterday in a ceremony that was described as the “beginning of the end of the pandemic.” Dr. Gerardo Aquino Jr., medical chief of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC), received Sinovac’s CoronaVac, becoming the first recipient of a COVID-19 vaccine in Cebu

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque graced the rollout of the vaccination program which was held at VSMMC’s Center for Behavioral Sciences building.

FIRST JAB – Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) chief Dr. Gerardo Aquino is the first recipient of the Sinovac vaccine in Cebu. (Juan Carlo de Vela/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Top officials from the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Cebu also graced the activity and signed “pledge of commitment” manifesto, signifying their support to the implementation of the vaccination program.

“The solution is the vaccine. The vaccine is the light of the end tunnel that we have been looking forward to and it is here,” said Roque.

Aside from Aquino, among those who were vaccinated were Dr. Juanito Tiu, chief of the St. Anthony Mother and Child Hospital; Dr. Pythagoras Zerna, chief of the Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital; retired Major Gen. Melquides Feliciano, chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force-Central Visayas, and Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Department of Health-Central Visayas.

At least 50 healthcare workers of VSMMC were also expected to be vaccinated during yesterday’s rollout.

Aquino said he was hoping that the participation of health officials in the rollout will encourage the public to take the vaccines.

“Being vaccinated be an act as compassion for others and be a demonstration of our responsibility as citizens on top of our consistent adherence to minimum health protocols,” said Aquino.

Cebu received 7,200 doses of CoronaVac last Tuesday and is set to receive an additional 7,000 doses later this month.

The first batches of vaccines were intended for medical frontliners. Health officials here said there’s no timetable yet for the public vaccination.