Cebu City dad to DOH: Release second dose to public before vaccines expire

By: Delta Letigio - CDN Digital | July 13,2022 - 04:51 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, the deputy chief implementor of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), urged the Department of Health (DOH) to allow the general public access to a second booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The councilor appealed to the health agency after receiving reports from several companies that they have available vaccines that will soon expire. 

The councilor said the companies could not use the vaccines for their employees, as the DOH currently only allows medical frontliners, senior citizens, and persons with serious comorbidities to get their second booster shots.

Thousands of these vaccines, which companies bought on their own for their employees, are expiring on July or August 2022. 

“It’s either we dispense it and give it to the employees, or just allow it to go to waste. We need to urge the IATF (Inter-agency Task Force) or the DOH because there are a lot of companies whose employees are willing to be vaccinated (for second booster), but there is no directive,” said Garganera. 

The councilor has sent a letter to the DOH Regional Office in Central Visayas, asking the agency to grant the companies’ request. He even attached the compiled letters from the multiple companies and sent these to the regional office as well. 

Garganera said the National Government should consider the situation in each locality. 

Citing Cebu City as an example, the councilor explained that the city has exceeded its target population for the vaccination, or that majority are already vaccinated. 

He said the vaccine supply now is readily available, unlike before when it was scarce.

Garganera hopes the DOH would finally allow the general public to get a second booster before thousands of vials of vaccines will be wasted in the coming months.  

Meanwhile, the City Health Department Head is actively doing programs to encourage people to get vaccinated or have their booster shots.

Aside from the fixed vaccination sites in malls, there are sites in different barangays, in partnership with the Department of Education, in preparation for the face-to-face classes.

As for the second booster, the CHD is not yet catering to the general public except for special cases, such as when a second booster is required for employment or for traveling abroad. 

/ bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu city government, Cebu city news, COVID-19 news, DOH, Emergency Operations Center, EOC, Joel Garganera, Vaccine news

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