The San Juan City local government has started the vaccination of its residents using vaccines made by American/German pharmaceutical company Pfizer-BioNTech on Wednesday, April 12.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said the city has received a total of 11,700 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech from the Department of Health (DOH) as part of the donation from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX facility.
Zamora said the city started inoculating those who fall under the A1 (medical frontliners), A2 (senior citizens), and A3 (persons with comorbidities) categories at the FilOil Flying V Center. He said he was elated by the arrival of the vaccines in the city on time, prompting the local government to send confirmatory text messages to registered residents as early as last night.
The city government reminded its citizens to wait for the confirmatory text coming from the local government unit (LGU) before proceeding to the vaccination sites to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
The mayor added that the city has already rented an ultra cold freezer because the vaccines by Pfizer need to be stored in -80 to -60 degrees Celsius.
“Months before we had the Pfizer vaccine, we have prepared for this and already rented an ultra cold freezer to store them properly. We opted to rent instead of buying one since it is much more economical and allowed us to spend our budget wisely and use the savings for other COVID-related activities,” Zamora said.
The MDF-C8V1-PK ultra-low freezer rented by the city government has a temperature range of -60°C to -80°C, a new cooling circuit that enables filter-less structure, and can store up to 12,000 vials. It also comes with a system for high and low temperature alarm as well as power failure alarm to ensure that the vaccines will not be compromised and wasted.
Zamora said that another storage is on standby should the city receive more doses from the DOH and WHO COVAX.
The vaccines arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on May 10 with representatives from the government’s vaccine cluster, United Nations (UN), World Health Organization (WHO), the UNICEF, US Embassy, and Pfizer-Philippines in attendance
According to DOH, the first batch of Pfizer vaccines will be distributed in COVID-19 high-risk areas within Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao.