Galvez’s message to soldiers: Get free vaccine or buy your own
By : Jigger Jerusalem Mindanao Today/10:30:29pm 04/01/2021
Government soldiers who may not want to avail of the free vaccine from China now being made available to the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has an option to buy their own.
By Jigger J. Jerusalem
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Government soldiers who may not want to avail of the free vaccine from China now being made available to the members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has an option to buy their own.
This was the pronouncement of national task force Covid-10 response chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. as the military has began rolling out thousands of vials of Coronavac to its uniformed personnel.
Galvez said members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines must avail of Coronavac as it is free, although they have a choice not to be inoculated with the doses manufactured by Sinovac, which is free.
“If you don’t want it, they you can choose your own, at your own expense,” Galvez told soldiers during the ceremonial vaccination at Camp Evangelista, the 4th Infantry Division’s (4ID) headquarters in Barangay Patag, Cagayan de Oro, on Friday, March 5.
The symbolic administering of the vaccine, held at the 4ID gymnasium, was witnessed by health, national defense and armed forces officials.
He said more vaccines will be available as orders from other vaccine manufacturers start to arrive in the country in the coming months.
Galvez said that aside from Coronavac, almost half a million of Astrazeneca vials have recently arrived.
The vaccine czar has also assured that the Coronavac, manufactured by Beijing-based company Sinovac, is safe, allaying public fears that its efficacy rate was lower than the other vaccines being developed by leading pharmaceutical firms.
Reports indicate that Coronavac can be stored in a standard refrigerator at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, which makes it more useful to developing countries such as the Philippines.
Col. Jonna Dalaguit, Camp Evangelista Station Hospital (CESH) commanding officer, said the national government has allocated 745 vials of the vaccine to the division, with the 4ID medical workers as the priority recipients.
Dalaguit, who was the first to be injected with the dose, said they plan on inoculating all the health care staff across the division’s jurisdiction in the next few days.
The 4ID covers the Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions.
CESH, she said, has 60 staff and medical officers, which will be the first to receive the vaccine.
Health workers from the medical facilities in the 4ID brigades and battalions will also be inoculated eventually.
Next on the list of those to be inoculated are soldiers who are exposed such as those deployed in checkpoints, and other personnel.
According to Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, CESH is the first Army medical unit in Mindanao to receive the doses.
He said 70,000 Coronavac vials were apportioned for the Army’s medical workers, from the 100,000 doses intended for the Department of Defense.
Lorenzana said the administering of the vaccine to soldiers should be strictly implemented so they will not be infected.