THE BUREAU of Immigration (BI) said 600 personnel out of the 1,250 target have received their first dose of vaccines against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as of Sunday. “300 have been vaccinated yesterday (Saturday), and another 300 today, then another batch for next weekend,” BI Spokesperson Dana Krizia M. Sandoval said in a mobile message on Sunday. She added that the inoculations have been good so far, and that there are “no reported adverse effects for those vaccinated.” The immigration workers received Sinovac Biotech Ltd.’s CoronaVac. “The continuous rise of COVID-19 cases accentuates the need to vaccinate our frontliners, especially those belonging in the most vulnerable group such as the seniors and persons with co-morbidities. We want to assure their safety from the threat of the deadly virus,” BI Commissioner Jaime H. Morente said in a press statement on Friday. “BI is a frontline agency and our employees at the ports, as well as in our numerous offices nationwide, have remained open to provide service. Our frontliners are one of the most exposed and have a high risk in contracting the highly transmissible virus,” BI Deputy Commissioner and Chairperson of COVID-19 Taskforce Aldwin F. Alegre added. “As such, we will continue to make sure that all health protocols are being followed.” Since last year, around 300 immigration personnel have been infected with COVID-19. — Bianca Angelica D. Anago
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