Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso is urging medical frontliners to grab the opportunity to get vaccinated as the City of Manila received a new batch of COVID-19 vaccines. There were 1,870 vials of Sinovac vaccines and 1,000 vials of AstraZeneca vaccines delivered to the LGU on Wednesday, March 17.

Domagoso immediately pushed for the deployment of the said vaccines on Thursday, March 18. Medical frontliners could either go to the Sta. Ana Hospital to get the Sinovac vaccine or to the Ospital ng Maynila to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. The simultaneous mass vaccination of medical frontliners starts at 8AM.

The mayor stated, “Ako’y nananawagan sa mga doctors, nurses, other medical frontliners, and other employees who are also involved in medical frontlines. Huwag na kayong maghintay nang maghintay. Sayang ang pagkakataon. Ulit: first come first served. Ang mabisang bakuna ay ang bakunang nasa braso n’yo.”

To stress the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19, Domagoso revealed that since the City of Manila started its mass vaccination operations earlier this month, a number of medical frontliners have gotten infected with COVID-19.

“Mula March 1 hanggang March 17, sa anim na ospital natin ay may 102 na medical frontliners na na-infect ng coronavirus,” he shared.

According to the report submitted by Manila Health Department (MHD) chief Dr. Arnold ‘Poks’ Pangan, out of the 102 medical frontliners who had gotten infected, 92 were not vaccinated and 10 were vaccinated. Thus, he called on his fellow medical frontliners to get vaccinated. “Nakita naman natin ang ating mga kasamahan na hindi bakunado na nagkaroon ng COVID-19. Kaya hinihikayat ko ang lahat mga medical frontliners na ito na ang kanilang pagkakataon para magpabakuna para makaiwas tayo sa sakit,” he stated.

Like Pangan, Domagoso lamented the fact that there were still medical frontliners in the city’s six district hospitals — Ospital ng Maynila, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Justice Jose Abad Santos Memorial Hospital, Gat Andres Bonifacio Hospital, Ospital ng Tondo, and Sta Ana Hospital — who still had not gotten vaccinated.

Domagoso noted: “‘Yung 10 na bakunado at na-infect ng COVID-19 are doing well so far. Kahit papaano may panlaban sila sa virus. Meron nang dumating na mga vaccines. Kaya huwag n’yong sayangin ang panahon. Makakapamili pa kayo. Kapag AstraZeneca, doon ka sa Ospital ng Maynila. Kapag Sinovac, doon ka sa Sta. Ana.”

Overall, around 2,500 medical frontliners have been vaccinated through the efforts of the City Government of Manila. Out of this number, Domagoso said that the fact that only 10 got infected means that the vaccines generally serve their purpose. He has repeatedly said in his speeches and interviews that it is crucial for medical frontliners to get vaccinated because they are the ones who are more likely to get exposed to carriers of the COVID-19 virus.

Addressing medical frontliners, Domagoso said, “Ang ating mga kababayan na hindi galing sa medical field ay gustong-gusto nang magpabakuna. Ngunit hindi pa rin pwedeng bakunahan ang ibang tao na katulad ko na hindi involved sa medical frontlines. So, kayong mga medical frontliners, grab the opportunity while supplies last. Sayang ang pagkakataon.”

The mayor went on to say that once medical frontliners from the city’s distract hospitals were vaccinated, then frontliners from private medical facilities were also welcome to avail of the free COVID-19 vaccines being given by the City of Manila.

Domagoso likewise reported that a number of the city’s barangay health workers had actually gotten vaccinated through the efforts of Philippine General Hospital (PGH) director Dr. Gerardo “Gap” Legaspi.