Walk-ins in vax sites encouraged
CEBU CITY, Philippines – If this would mean preventing COVID-19 vaccines from going to waste, the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) is encouraging local governments here to allow walk-ins in their inoculation sites.
This developed after regional health officials noted a slow pace in region’s vaccination coverage.
“We are not discouraging walk-ins. Discouraging also means limiting the target for the day. Walk-ins will also help with the quick substitution list in order for the vaccination host to accomplish the target for the day,” said Dr. Jaime Bernadas, the DOH-7 director.
“It’s a matter of attending to them in cases where those scheduled for the day won’t be able to show up, and this cannot be prevented,” he explained in Cebuano.
Central Visayas, as of June 21, has been allocated with a total of 783,710 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from four brands.
These are Sputnik V by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, AstraZeneca by UK-Sweden AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNtech by US-based Pfizer and Germany-based BioNTech SE, and CoronaVac by China’s Sinovac Biotech.
Citing their latest data, Dr. Von Philip Baton, medical coordinator of DOH-7, said they were able to post double-digits in terms of the vaccination coverage rate for all qualified sectors in Central Visayas.
However, Baton admitted that more work needs to be done for the A2 sector or the senior citizens as they registered only a success rate of 17.5 percent as of June 21.
“As you can see, it’s really low. We’re urging our local governments to have our senior citizens be more active in terms of registering for the vaccination, and provide solutions that are more sensitive to the plight of our seniors and elderlies,” said Baton.
DOH-7 recorded a success rate of 67.8 and 65.2 percent for medical frontliners (A1) and individuals with co-morbidities (A3) respectively who received their first dose of the vaccine.
Aside from discouraging walk-ins, other factors that the regional health office cited as reasons for the backlogs in the national government’s inoculation drive here was the availability of the vaccines.
According to Bernadas, they are hoping more doses will be delivered in Central Visayas by July.
“For now, kuwang pa gyud. But it was announced the bulk of the vaccines approved by suppliers have been scheduled this July. So, we are expecting more doses coming in the month of July,” he explained. / dcb
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