Over 2,000 soldiers vaccinated with China’s Sinovac so far

Published March 5, 2021, 2:04 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

A total of 2,290 military healthcare workers have already been inoculated with CoronaVac vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. since the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) began administering jabs against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the military has announced.

A health worker prepares the vaccine made by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac at the Sta. Ana Hospital on March 2, 2021. (Manila Public Information Office photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, AFP Chief of Staff, said 598 military personnel have been vaccinated at the V. Luna Medical Center (VLMC), 583 at Camp General Emilion Aguinaldo Station Hospital (CGEASH), 349 at the Philippine Navy’s Manila Naval Hospital (PNMNH), 566 at the Philippine Army General Hospital (PAGH), and 194 at the Philippine Air Force General Hospital (PAFGH) as of Thursday, March 4.

The inoculation of AFP medical frontliners, which kicked off last Monday, continued on Friday as the leadership sought more doses to augment the initial 5,400 vials that were given to military hospitals.

Sobejana thanked the military frontliners who obeyed his directive to have themselves vaccinated so they can continue their duties amid the pandemic.

“I am confident that our frontline personnel will make good use of this opportunity to confidently and safely dispense their duties as we collectively seek an end to this pandemic,” he said.

The vaccines used in the military’s inoculation program came from the 600,000 vials that arrived in the country last Feb. 28. Of the China-donated jabs, 100,000 vials were specifically alloted for the military.

On Thursday night, a total of 487,200 doses from British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca were also delivered to the country as part of the government’s secured supply from the COVAX facility.

With the arrival of more vaccine doses, the military chief reiterated that medical health frontliners remain the priority in their vaccination program.

He called on the 120,000-strong AFP personnel to support the ongoing vaccination program of the government as the military continues to serve at the frontline of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The vaccination program will be our shield that shall aid us in protecting and preserving Filipino lives against the pandemic,” Sobejana said.

Meanwhile, Sobejana said the AFP will still carry out a supporting role in the government’s vaccine rollout. There are 72 vaccine teams and 47 vaccination sites in AFP camps, which have military treatment facilities (MTFs).

The AFP has also been conducting a Troop Information and Education (TI&E) campaign in every military camp to address the issues, concerns, and apprehension of soldiers about the government’s vaccination program.