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Cebu City urged: Back COVID-19 vaccination initiatives of neighboring regions

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | September 30,2022 - 03:25 PM

DOH HOLDS BAKUNAHANG BAYAN: PINASLAKAS SPECIAL VACCINATION DAY. In photo is Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama getting his second booster shot at the event.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama receives his second booster shot during the “Bakunahang Bayan: PinasLakas special vaccination day,” held at the Department of Education (DepEd) Ecotech Center in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. | contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — After commending the Cebu City government and Central Visayas for achieving a good turnout in its COVID-19 vaccination campaign, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) central office has requested that the city and regional officials help with vaccination efforts of its neighboring regions.

Dr. Maria Francia Laxamana, undersecretary of Health, Office of Special Concerns of the DOH, on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, asked the Cebu City government to help Eastern and Western Visayas in stepping up their vaccination efforts by sharing the city’s best practices with them.

“Mayor, vice mayor, baka po pwede nating i-document yung nagawa ninyo kung paano niyo nagawang itong nakahundred percent ang city. Na-surpassed ninyo yung targets na binigay sa inyo, and these best practices should be trickled down, cascaded to areas na talagang kailangang-kailangan ng tulong,” she said.

(Mayor, vice mayor, perhaps we can document what you did about how the city achieved 100 percent [vaccination]. You surpassed your targets that we gave you, and these best practices should be trickled down, cascaded to areas that really, really need the help.)

“I know, (regions) 6 and 8 are still crawling with their coverage, baka pwedeng mag-reach out tayo sa kanila. It will be an inter-regional support kasi po alam ko na sila rin po ay mga island municipalities…Let us not confine ourselves in our own region, baka pwede na po tayong lumabas,” she said.

(I know, (regions) 6 and 8 are still crawling with their coverage, perhaps we can reach out to them. It will be an inter-regional support because we know that they are also island municipalities … let us not confine ourselves in our own region. Perhaps, we can go out.)

Sought for his reaction, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he is supportive of the idea. He also noted that the city’s efforts in helping other local government units in their vaccination campaign is already ongoing through its “Big Brother” program.

“And me as president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, I will be bringing it to all of them, and whatever we will have in a template, we will give it to them. Let’s not be greedy. We only have one country, and this is toward nation-building. Vaccination is really the formula to liberation,” he told reporters.

117% vaccination coverage

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH-7 director, said Cebu City already had a COVID-19 vaccination coverage of 117 percent for the general population, and about 29 percent coverage for the first booster vaccine coverage.

“Pero regionwide, naa ra ta sa mga 19, almost 20 percent. Ang ato pong regionwide nga fully vaccinated coverage status naa na ta sa 84 percent to 83 percent,” he added, noting that under the PinasLakas program, the region aims to fully vaccinate at least 90 percent of its eligible population.

Bernadas also mentioned that among the best practices of the region is the establishment of its Regional Vaccination Operations Center.

Laxamana was in Cebu on Friday to attend the DOH-7’s “Bakunahang Bayan: PinasLakas special vaccination day,” held at the Department of Education (DepEd) Ecotech Center in Lahug on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

The event was held a week before “PinasLakas,” a 100-day nationwide booster vaccination campaign, ends on Oct. 8, 2022.

Laxamana attended the event on behalf of acting DOH Secretary, Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.

She also administered Rama’s second COVID-19 booster shot during a ceremonial booster shot vaccination on Friday. DepEd-7 Director Salustiano Jimenez, who is also the president of the Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies in Central Visayas (ARENA-7), also got his booster shot on Friday.

The PinasLakas campaign is a strategy used by the Marcos administration to strengthen the nation’s vaccination booster programs and ensure progress toward a more “health-conscious” and “safer” country.

The regional efforts for this campaign is spearheaded by DOH-7, with the support of the ARENA-7.

Laxamana, however, emphasized that even after the 100-day booster vaccination campaign, the government would continue its vaccination efforts to surpass its target of vaccinating 90 percent of the general population and 70 percent of the senior citizen population.


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TAGS: booster, booster shot, Cebu city government, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, DOH-7, vaccination

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