After a year of battling coronavirus disease (COVID-19), about 1,770 contact tracers, barangay healthcare workers, other frontliners and private sector health professionals received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines yesterday.

Members of the Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Disease Unit (CESU), Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTS), and QC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) have been inoculated with CoronaVac and AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the national government.

“To get our frontliners vaccinated is an achievement since this will provide them protection especially in the performance of their duties. It is our responsibility to make sure that all of our healthcare workers including our support teams are safe from the virus,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

CHD’s target is to vaccinate more than 6,000 frontliners including medical workers in private clinics, diagnostic laboratories, and also home-for-the-aged and rehabilitation centers and other frontliners who are part of the A1 priority subgroups presented by the Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group for COVID-19 Vaccines.

CESU Head Dr. Rolly Cruz who has also been vaccinated shared how this has boosted the team.

“We are slowly gaining momentum in the vaccination of our team. As the head of CESU, I am more than glad and relieved because our team will be protected. We can avoid serious complications from the disease,” Dr. Cruz said.

QC Task Force Vax to Normal Co-chair Joseph Juico shared that all employees and healthcare workers who were part of the master list of the three local government hospitals have received their first dose of the CoronaVac and AstraZeneca.

“The vaccines of our hospital workers came timely as they face yet another surge in the number of cases. This is why it is important to have our medical workers vaccinated because they are continuously exposed to the risk of infection,” Juico said.

As of March 18, 1,100 healthcare workers have been inoculated at the Quezon City General Hospital, a Level-3 hospital.

Also, 8 Level-1 hospitals including Novaliches District Hospital (488 HCWs) and Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital (360 HCWs) and 11 Level-2 hospitals in Quezon City both public and private have received their first doses of vaccines reaching a total of 6,815 healthcare workers.

As the city awaits its order of AstraZeneca and other vaccine donations, the QC government is beefing up its vaccination sites and in close coordination with other vaccine manufacturers for additional supplies.