Several staff members of the Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC) were inoculated against COVID-19 in a ceremonial event last March 3. The event also simultaneously marked the turnover of COVID-19 vaccines to the hospital from the government, making CSMC one of the first private tertiary hospital in the country to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
The event was made especially poignant as it was held just two days shy of the anniversary of the diagnosis of the fifth patient of COVID-19 in the Philippines. The patient together with his wife were the first patients to be directly linked to the presence of community transmission in the country.
“One year later, there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Zenaida M. Javier-Uy, Cardinal Santos Medical Center Chief Medical Officer said.
Dr. Javier-Uy also announced during the event that the vaccination program for CSMC’s medical staff and employees starts this Friday, March 5. “We hope to be able to vaccinate thereafter, a total of more than 1,000 healthcare workers.”
Three senior staff members of the Cardinal Santos Medical Center received the vaccine during the Ceremonial COVID-19 Vaccination. The recipients of the first doses of vaccines were: Maria Louzel Diaz-Tiozon, Vice President & Head of Human Resources of CSMC; Dr. Edgar Michael Eufemio, Chairman of CSMC’s Department of Orthopedics; and, Dr. Sergie Paul Fernandez, Chief Resident of the hospital’s Department of Internal Medicine.
“I was able to add another layer of defense from the virus aside from the safety equipment I use and the stringent health standards that I follow whenever I consult with patients who have been infected by the virus,” Dr. Fernandez shared after receiving the vaccine.
The event was attended by senior executives of CSMC and several government officials who led the turnover of the vaccine doses. Present during the ceremonial event were: Raul C. Pagdanganan, President & CEO of CSMC; Sec. Vince Dizon, Deputy Chief Implementer COVID-19 National Task Force; NEDA Regional Development group Undersecretary Mercedita A. Sombilla; Department of Health Regional Director Ms. Corazon Flores; and City Health Officer of the City of San Juan, Dr. Rosalyn Sto. Domingo.
“The kick-off of Cardinal Santos Medical Center’s Vaccination Program is our modest contribution to the National Government’s stride to inoculate 70% of our population to gain their immunity. Together with the 18 hospitals under the Metro Pacific Group, we are your partner in the worst and best times in this pandemic”, Pagdanganan said.
Sec. Dizon praised the hospital for its contribution and celebrated the historic significance of CSMC being the first private hospital to receive the vaccine.
“The national government is committed to continuously support our frontliners. Hopefully, one year from now we will be looking back and we will say it started here at Cardinal Santos Medical Center for the private hospitals, and finally hopefully a year after, we’ll be able to say that we’ve beaten COVID-19 with all of you,” Sec. Dizon added.
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