By Connie Calipay and Mar Serrano

LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol expects more elderlies to be inoculated against coronavirus disease with the arrival of a total of 33,280 vials of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine at the Legazpi Domestic Airport on Wednesday.

In an interview on Thursday, Noemi Bron, DOH-Bicol Health and Promotion chief, said the vaccine made by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Company arrived in 22 boxes aboard a Cebu Pacific commercial flight from Manila.

“With these newly arrived vaccines, we are expecting that local government units will encourage and follow the priority list particularly the senior citizens in their localities,” she said.

Bron said a vial of J&J vaccine contains five doses so the 33,280 vials could be administered to 166,400 senior citizens in the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, and Sorsogon.

The allocation of 9,000 doses for Catanduanes arrived in the island province on Monday while the 28,400 doses for Masbate would be directly delivered from Manila this week.

The National Vaccination Operations Center allocated 51,000 doses of the J&J jabs for Camarines Sur; Naga City – 6,000; Iriga City – 5,600; Albay – 31,000; Legazpi – 6,000; Tabaco – 5,500; Ligao City – 5,500, Camarines Norte – 19,500; Sorsogon – 24,000; and Sorsogon City – 6,700.

Also set to receive the vaccine brand are the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in Legazpi City; the Bicol Medical Center in Naga City, Bicol General Hospital and Geriatric Medical Center in Cabusao, and Camp Elias Angeles Station Hospital, all in Camarines Sur; and the DOH Center for Health and Development.

The Janssen vaccine brought to 203,800 the total number of vaccine doses received so far by the Bicol Region.

Meanwhile, Mayor Noel Rosal encouraged all senior citizens here to avail of the single-dose vaccine.

“We are calling all senior citizens to grab the opportunity to be inoculated with this vaccine. As per instruction by the health authorities, we need to increase the vaccine turnout for our elderlies,” he said.

Rosal noted that the city government has now administered almost 40,000 doses of vaccines.

“We want that before December, we would be able to reach at least 90,000 inoculations in the city. We also need to prepare and safeguard our people from the Delta variant that is very dangerous. We need vaccines for our preventive and safety measures,” he said.

Based on the DOH-Bicol’s Covid-19 case bulletin as of July 20, the total number of active cases in the region was pegged at 3,398. The total number of recoveries was placed at 16,110, and the deaths, 762. (PNA)