THE public has been urged to get the influenza and pneumonia vaccines to help the immune system fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, Department of Health (DOH) 7 spokesperson, said studies have shown that an individual immunized against influenza has a better immune response when exposed to Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
“There is cross-reactivity of immunity between flu and coronavirus due to the similarity of their structures,” she said.
Cross reactivity means the influenza virus and Sars-CoV-2 have some degrees of similarity in their antigenic structures.
The immune system of the individual will recognize Sars-CoV-2 and mount a response against it, thereby affording some form of immunity, she said.
According to the DOH, influenza, or flu, is caused by the influenza virus that enters the body via droplets from an infected person through coughing, talking and sneezing or through contact with contaminated surfaces.
As for the pneumonia or pneumococcal vaccine, she said it targets one of the most virulent causative agents of pneumonia caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterium.
However, she said they are still consolidating the data for 2020 to find out how many people got the flu and pneumoccocal vaccines.
Last year, 47,707 individuals got the flu vaccine and 23,083 got the pneumococcal vaccine in Central Visayas.
In Cebu City, 44 of its 80 barangays have not recorded any new Covid-19 case as of Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.
Of that number, four barangays never had a history of Covid-19 transmission.
Mayor Edgardo Labella recently challenged the 36 remaining barangays with active cases to eliminate the disease. He said he would give a P100,000 reward to barangays that report zero transmission between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31.
Inayawan Barangay Captain Kirk Bryan Repollo said he is up to the challenge, adding that it has been the goal of every barangay to get rid of the infection.
To achieve this, though, Repollo said barangays need the City’s support and not just financial incentives. He said politics continues to be a stumbling block.
Inayawan has one active Covid-19 case.
Labangon Barangay Captain Victor Buendia, who is also the Association of Barangay Councils vice president, described Labella’s challenge as “near to impossible.”
He said having no discretion on what measures to implement in his own barangay continues to pose a problem.
“We are not in full control of our barangay. Sa Bisaya pa, dili mi pabuoton unsa among buhaton sa among barangay,” he said.
Labangon has three active cases.
Apas Barangay Captain Virgil Cabigon said achieving zero transmission may not be so easy, especially since his barangay is home to a number of business process outsourcing companies.
Sambag 2 Barangay Captain Ryan Aznar, for his part, said they’ve always been vigilant to arrest the spread of Covid-19.
“Even without the reward, we are always vigilant,” he said.
Cogon Pardo Barangay Captain Harry Eran said the financial incentive can help his barangay, which has limited resources in fighting the pandemic.
“Any funds that our barangay may receive can greatly ease our problem in sourcing funds for our daily Covid-19-related activities,” he said.
According to the data of the Emergency Operations Center, Cebu City had 196 active cases, as of Oct. 23.
Of the 10,201 Covid-19 cases in the city, 9,325 have recovered while 677 have died. (WBS, JJL)