THE Davao City Government is considering the offer of Catholic bishops in the country in including church facilities as one of the city's Covid-19 vaccination sites, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said on Monday, February 1, 2021.
This came after Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles said they are willing to transform its church in the country as vaccination hubs once the vaccines will be ready for distribution.
"We can offer our church facilities to help in this massive and complicated and very challenging program of vaccination," Valles said in a virtual press conference conducted by CBCP.
The mayor said the city welcomed the religious leader's pronouncement.
"Nag-direct message sa akoa si Archbishop Valles, and I told him that we will include that sa atong listahan sa mga options ang ilahang offer na gamiton ang ilang facilities for the vaccination program (I personally received a direct message from Archbishop Valles and I told him that we will include it in our list of options to include their facilities for our vaccination program)," Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
Currently, the mayor said there is a guide that medical frontliners will be inoculated within their respective hospitals for their convenience.
For senior citizens, who are considered "high risk" from getting infected by the virus, will also be inoculated at the hospitals.
For the "low risk" or whose age groups not considered under the vulnerable sector, their vaccination place is still under discussion.
But the mayor said they are considering the private schools, and gymnasiums as vaccination sites.
"It can be a public school. That is one consideration because there are a lot of classrooms and ma-maintain gihapon ang distancing ana (and maintain distancing)," Duterte-Carpio said.
Davao City Covid-19 focal person Dr. Ashley Lopez said in a recent interview that they are proposing to have private hospitals as an additional venue for the Covid-19 vaccination in the city.
This proposal is on top of the initial recommendation to have the vaccine rollout in the city's district health centers, which will serve as the main facility for the vaccine rollout.
But considering that health centers have inadequate spaces to cater to people, they are considering having it simultaneously done at private hospitals.
"Gagmay ra [ang space sa] ato health center. So basin mangita na og gym na pwede kasudlan who can facilitate and accommodate all for vaccination. Mao na ang isyu sa health center (The health centers don't have the capacity to vaccinate a lot of people. We might be looking at the gyms to accommodate the vaccination)," Lopez said in a radio interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.
He added, "But if i-combine nato na siya nga health center and hospitals, ato i-apil mga private hospitals, (If you have the vaccination at the health center and [public] hospitals, we can also include the private hospitals) it would be better."
The health official said having the vaccines administered at hospitals would be advantageous because the equipment needed for the vaccination is all ready.
The Department of Health (DOH), in a statement, also welcomed the announcement of CBCP to transform church facilities in the country to Covid-19 vaccination sites.
"We are happy with the CBCP's offer to have churches as vaccination hubs if needed. Churches really can be alternative sites to areas that lack facility, especially those in hard-to-reach municipalities," Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.