The Manila City government has started administering Sinovac Covid-19 vaccines to its senior citizens on Thursday.
This came after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for the use of China-made Sinovac on the elderly “after considering the recommendation of the experts and the current situation of high Covid-19 transmission and limited available vaccines.”
The city’s vaccination effort for senior citizens was temporarily halted after the local government ran out of its AstraZeneca supply.
“We were informed that Sinovac is now allowed for senior citizens,” Manila mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said in his Facebook live update late Wednesday.
He has also asked barangay chairpersons and other officials to help senior citizens by ferrying them from their houses and accompanying the elderly to the vaccination sites if needed.
“Vaccination should be preceded by an evaluation of the persons’ health status and exposure risk to assure that benefits of vaccination outweigh risks,” the FDA statement also said.
Likewise on Thursday, the city government has expanded the number of vaccination centers to accommodate more residents.
From three sites, 20 vaccination centers have been opened in the city to cater to more Manileños who wish to receive the Covid-19 jabs.
It said that the vaccination rollout will be for A1 individuals or medical front-liners, A2 or senior citizens and A3 or those between 18 to 59 years old with comorbidities.
According to Domagoso, some Manila City Hall employees and members of the Manila Police District involved in the distribution of assistance have been upgraded to A1 so they will also be vaccinated.
Earlier in January, Moreno and Manila vice mayor Honey Lacuna announced plans that once the vaccines are on steady supply, they want to vaccinate at least 18,000 residents per day or 540,000 people a month.
Also yesterday, Moreno said 12,550 families have so far received P4,000 each in financial assistance from the national government in connection with the enhanced community quarantine.
He commended the tireless efforts of Lacuna, Manila Health Department personnel under Dr. Arnold “Poks” Pangan regarding the vaccination rollout, together with the staff of Manila Department of Social Welfare under Re Fugoso that began distributing cash aid provided by the national government.
As Moreno reiterated his call for residents to register through the www.manilacovid19vaccine.ph for their free vaccine slots, while reminding the people to follow health protocols.