The Department of Health regional office in Bicol (File photo)

LEGAZPI CITY – A total of 740 vials of the American-manufactured Moderna vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) arrived Monday at the Legazpi City Domestic Airport, the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol said.

The vaccines placed in two cold storage boxes arrived on board a Philippine Airlines (PAL) commercial flight from Manila, Noemi Bron, DOH-Bicol Health and Promotion chief, told the Philippine News Agency via social media messaging.

Bron said a vial of Moderna vaccine can inoculate 10 people, which means the fresh supply can be administered to 7,400 people.

Dr. Rita Ang Bon, the region's Covid-19 vaccine coordinator, said the initial Moderna supply would determine Bicol's capability in handling and storing this kind of vaccine that needs a -15°C to -25°C storage facility.

The vaccine would be administered to more health workers, as well as senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.

It would be distributed only to the mainland provinces of Bicol, with Sorsogon and Camarines Norte getting 1,600 doses each, while the cities of Legazpi, Ligao, Tabaco, Naga, and Iriga will get 600 doses each.

The two Covid-19 referral hospitals -- Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) here, and the Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City, on the other hand, will get 600 doses each.

The island provinces of Masbate and Catanduanes are not included yet in the rollout due to the absence of a cold storage facility that would meet the requirement. (PNA)