Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga received the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, April 12, with two other priests in the diocese.
“I, with our two priest-chaplains of the diocese for the hospitals here in Bataan are vaccinated,” said the bishop in a statement.
He said he was inoculated with Sinovac, a COVID-19 vaccine from China, for the “common good” and “public safety.”
“We want to make sure that those whom we meet and being served with our celebrations of sacraments are protected and safe with us,” said Bishop Santos.
Bishop Victor Bendico of Baguio also announced earlier that he received his first dose of the vaccine last month.
Archbishop Jose Romeo Lazo of Jaor was also inoculated with the first dose of the Astrazenica vaccine on March 15.
In January, Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said Church leaders are willing to get vaccinated in public to help build confidence in the government’s vaccination campaign.
Vaccine for the Philippines
On Monday, the Gavi Vaccine Alliance announced that the Philippines is among countries that will receive doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the second quarter of the year.
Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, and Ukraine are set to be among the main recipients of the Pfizer vaccine between April and June, according to Gavi, which co-leads the COVAX facility with the World Health Organization and other partners.
The COVAX program offers a lifeline to low-income countries in particular, allowing them to inoculate health workers and others at high risk, even if their governments have not managed to secure vaccines from the manufacturers.
Australia, Britain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates are due to receive their first shots via COVAX with the Pfizer doses, which is “based on current knowledge of COVID-19 vaccine supply availability,” Gavi said in a statement.
The program delivered nearly 38.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 102 countries across six continents, six weeks after it began to roll out supplies, Gavi said last Thursday.
Deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 142 participants under a previously announced round were underway, “with some delays” that may extend deliveries past May, Gavi said on Monday.
Reduced availability delayed some deliveries in March and April, and much of the output of the Serum Institute of India, which makes the AstraZeneca vaccine, is being kept in India, where the number of daily infections is spiralling. – with a report from Reuters