SBMA vaccine rollout for Subic stakeholders resumes

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — With a steady supply of vaccine coming in from both the government and private sectors, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) resumed on Monday its vaccination program, targeting essential workers in the A4 category of the government’s priority list in a joint project with the Department of Health (DOH).

Doctors and health workers from the SBMA Public Health and Safety Department (PHSD) administered the second dose of Sinovac vaccine to around 250 workers, mostly from hotels and accommodation facilities in the Freeport.

The next inoculation schedule on Wednesday, September 15, will also be for the second Sinovac dose of A4 beneficiaries, said Dr. Solomon Jacalne, head of the SBMA-PHSD.

SBMA Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the new vaccine rollout was made possible with more and better facilities for vaccine storage and transportation that the agency acquired recently.

“We recently received a donation of a biomedical refrigerator that can store up to 20,000 vials of vaccine, and then another one was loaned to us by another business locator, thus bringing our storage capacity to 40,000,” Eisma said.

“Meanwhile, the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce donated an upright freezer for the ice packs used in vaccine carriers from the DOH. So, with these refs and carriers available, we get to receive more vaccine allocations from the government, and some are also coming in as donations,” she added.

Just last week, Eisma said they received 2,500 doses of Sinovac vaccine from the DOH office in Region 3. This was followed by 5,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine donated by International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), which operates the container port in Subic. All are again allocated for A4 workers.

“We’re exhausting all possible sources of vaccines from both the government and the private sectors, so that we can hasten the vaccination of Subic workers and residents. I have even reached out to my personal contacts in the medical industry and, so far, these efforts have turned out fine,” Eisma said.

“I’m now working with the DOH and IATF to secure new rounds of vaccines to finish with categories A1 to A3,” she added.

According to SBMA Deputy Administrator for Health and Safety Ronnie Yambao, a total of 1,855 individuals have been fully vaccinated under the SBMA-DOH vaccine rollout as of August 20.

These included 244 individuals under the A1 category of frontline health workers; 383 under A2 category for senior citizens; and 1,228 under A3, or persons with comorbidities.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,271 have thus far received their first vaccine dose, Yambao said. Among them are 520 persons under A1, 31 under A2, 588 under A3, and 132 under A4.

SBMA Chairman Eisma had reiterated her call for Subic stakeholders, particularly workers in the Freeport, to get vaccinated in order to promote safety in the workplace and ensure economic sustainability.

Those in the government’s A4 priority list include workers in commuter transport and logistics; frontline government workers in justice, security, transport and social protection sectors; market vendors and workers in groceries, supermarkets and delivery services; workers in manufacturing for food, beverage, medical and pharmaceutical products; frontline workers in food retail and foodservice delivery; frontline government workers; frontline workers in financial services; teaching and related personnel in medical and allied courses; frontline workers in hotels and accommodation; priests, pastors, and religious leaders; construction workers in government infrastructure projects; security guards and related personnel assigned in establishments, offices, agencies and organizations.

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