VACCINATED. A health professional administers vaccination for Covid-19 to a senior citizen at the Imelda Cultural Center in Batac City, Ilocos Norte. He is among the 11,186 individuals in Ilocos Norte who got their first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine last month. (Photo courtesy of the City Government of Batac

LAOAG CITY – Over 25,000 frontline workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities in the province of Ilocos Norte got their shot against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Dr. Josephine Ruedas, provincial health officer of Ilocos Norte, confirmed this on Wednesday citing they are still waiting for the arrival of more vaccines to continue the mass vaccination.

In her report to Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc, Ruedas said a total of 25,156 residents already received their first or second dose of Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines.

About 90 percent or 13,970 of them belong to the eligible A1 category which includes those who work in public and private health facilities like nursing aides, janitors and barangay health workers, among others, while the 11,186 belong to the A2 category or senior citizens aged 60 years old and above.

“As of the moment, we are now administering vaccines under the A3 category but the official tally is still being consolidated,” she said.

The Provincial Health Office assured that they will continue to establish more vaccination sites to cater to more residents who have earlier signed up for the vaccine.

On Tuesday, additional 11,200 doses of Sinovac vaccines were turned over to the Department of Health (DOH) in Region 1. These will be shared by the different provinces in the region.

A consolidated list of the eligible population is now being prepared which include the priority sectors such as government officials and employees at the city, municipality, and barangay levels; overseas Filipino workers who need the vaccination to work abroad; ambulant or house-to-house workers with direct exposure to clients; drivers and conductors of air-conditioned public utility vehicles; market vendors, including ambulant vendors and food peddlers; beauty and wellness workers with direct exposure to clients; tourism sector personnel with direct exposure to tourists; and media personnel with direct exposure to people.

While other local government units have started to implement vaccine incentive programs to encourage more vaccine sign-ups, the governor said in an earlier interview that they may consider giving incentives if needed.

“For now, there is no official incentive yet but it is something that we will definitely consider,” said Manotoc. (PNA