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Finally, the COVID-19 vaccination campaign of the National Government spearheaded by the National Task Force and Department of Health has reached Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City as part of the nationwide mass immunization campaign to health care workers and employees of health facilities catering to COVID-19 patients.

On Monday, March 8, 2021, two days after the 1,181 vials of Sinovac vaccine was delivered to APMC from DOH 10 Regional Office, commenced the first day of the immunization of the employees held at the gymnasium.

Lanao del Sur Provincial Vice Governor Honorable Mohammad Khalid ‘Mujam’ Rakiin Adiong, on behalf of Governor Mamintal ‘Bombit’ Alonto Adiong, who is on an official travel outside the province, earnestly thanked the healthcare workers for the sincerity and dedication for responding to the threats and taking care of COVID-19 patients admitted in APMC.

In his message, Vice Governor Mujam called the healthcare workers “Superheroes.” The Vice Governor personally witnessed the sacrifices and the commitment demonstrated by the APMC employees in taking care of patients infected with COVD-19, as he was a victim of the dreaded virus last January 18, 2021, and was treated and successfully recovered at the said facility.

The Vice Governor said that he too would like to get vaccinated to protect himself, his loved ones, his fellow public servants, and the people whom he serves and uttered his support by standing with APMC in facing the challenges either in health or other circumstances for the welfare and best interest of the people.

Dr. Shalimar Sani-Rakiin, the Medical Center Chief took the momentous event and historical milestone not only to APMC but also to the whole province, to express her deepest gratitude to the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur through the effort of Governor Bombit for making things possible by allocating P10 Million for the construction of the Biomolecular Laboratory of APMC.

As of March 7, 2021, according to the Medical Center Chief, the country recorded a total of 594,412 COVID cases; 36,043 of which are active cases and four (4) of them are now being treated and regularly monitored in APMC.

“Today, hope comes at APMC doorsteps in a form of Sinovac vaccine. As Health workers, we are just few of those listed in the first priority to receive this vaccine and we are grateful. In return, we are encouraged to become advocates to people who are hesitant to receive this vaccine because of misinformation. We must see every opportunity to educate them. It is our responsibility as health workers to give hope and healing,” Dr. Rakiin said.

For more than a year, health workers are used to wearing PPEs as a minimum health protocol requirement against the infectious COVID-19. The Medical Center Chief firmly believes that hope and resilience, two of the positive traits of Filipinos, are keys to face and surpass every obstacle.

The proactive contributions of the officers, especially Dr. Moamar M. Casim, the Chief of Medical Professional Staff, as well as the Department and Section Heads, and the Vaccination Team is humbly recognized by Dr. Rakiin, that help ensure a successful vaccination in APMC and to the employees for registering to be part of the wide mass vaccination in support of the National Government’s campaign through the National Task Force and Department of Health.

To demonstrate that the Sinovac vaccine is safe, Dr. Rakiin was the first to get vaccinated followed by Dr. Casim, Dr. Alexis Gutoc, Dr. Abdul Nasser V. Nasser, Head of the Public Health Unit, and Chief of Nursing Section Marlyn Lucman. Vice Governor Mujam personally witnessed the vaccination along with the Honorable Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Board Member Shirali Sani, Board Member Abdulhamid Amirbitor, and Board Member Alicozaman Mangata.

Officers from the Department of Health – Center of Health Development Region 10 were also present to closely supervise and monitor the three-day vaccination at the Rehabilitation, Wellness, and HEMS Complex Center.