Rama: We will find a way to fully bring back vaccination in the coming days
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said the city government would find a way to bring back the vaccination program this 2022.
The vaccination program had been greatly affected following the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in December 31, 2021, and many of the usually fixed sites were damaged.
In the days following Odette, the City Health Department (CHD) put up sites at the City Hall, in barangay gyms, and in available private establishments just to roll out the vaccines to over 200,000 individuals who were due for their second dose.
Yet no site offered first dose inoculations because no vaccinees turned up anyway for the first dose save for a few pregnant women, senior citizens, and City Hall employees.
Doctor Jeffrey Ibones said that it might be difficult to hold first dose vaccinations for now because the residents were focused on meeting their needs following the devastating typhoon.
“Giuna na nila ilang tiyan, ilang tubig, pagkaon, ug mga panimalay,” he said.
(They put first their need for water, food and supplies for their home.)
Rama, whose policies have always pushed for intensified vaccinations, has put on hold the implementation of certain privileges for fully vaccinated individuals such as that only vaccinated individuals can enter the City Hall or report to work.
He said that the city would first recover from the typhoon and when everything had settled down, these policies would be revisited.
Yet the mayor is determined that the vaccination program will continue to vaccinate more minors, the rest of the remaining adult population, as well as booster shots for those whose last vaccination has gone beyond six months.
“We are doing very well. We just have to continue, bisan ang mga vaccination sites naproblema (We even have a problem with the vaccination sites). We need to look for other options. Still, (we) continue to see the number of vaccinations so we can continue to achieve what we wish to achieve with the vaccination program,” said Rama.
Although the requirement for herd immunity is only 70 percent of the population, which the city has already reached, Rama wants 100 percent of the population to be vaccinated as much as possible.
As of now, only 12 years old and above can get the COVID-19 vaccine, but the city has high hopes that this will be offered to younger minors soon.
When the city would finally recover from the typhoon’s devastation, Rama assured the public that vaccination would also push through.
The vaccination will resume on January 3, 2022, in certain sites mostly for second dose inoculation.
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