Briones: Seniors’ turn

On the go

I guess senior citizens in the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu can heave a sigh of relief because the two local government units started their vaccine rollout for individuals 60 years old and above on Monday, April 19, 2021.

At least those who are willing to be injected with the vaccine against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), or those who registered to receive the first dose.

Otherwise, they can remain in their homes and live in constant fear of being infected and potentially succumbing to the disease, which, as we all know, targets their segment of the population and people with comorbidities.

Come to think of it, majority of the people with pre-existing health conditions are the elderly, which only makes sense since it would be hard not to acquire something after living all those years.

If they’re waiting for a miracle, they may have to wait a long time. A very long time. So long that they may not be alive when and if it does happen.

The next best thing is to avail themselves of the government’s vaccination program.

Speaking of which, do both city governments have enough doses to cover all their elderly?

In Cebu City, more than 14,000 seniors have registered online. Granted, they will not be injected all at one go. The mass vaccination will be done by batches and by barangay.

Data from the City’s Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (Osca) show that there are more than 60,000 seniors living in the city’s 80 barangays.

What if they all say yes, they want to be vaccinated? Can the City accommodate them all? Of course, the City is probably banking on the fact that less than a quarter will probably show up at the barangay pickup areas to be driven to the vaccination sites at the Robinsons Galleria and the University of Cebu Banilad campus.

Because, let’s face it, turnout has been dismal.

If the government cannot even convince all health care workers to get inoculated, how much more the general public?

In Lapu-Lapu City, my understanding is that the City Health Office will use vaccines rejected by medical frontliners to inject its elderly, which, by the way, are not a lot. The vaccines, I mean. Not its seniors.

The City had targeted to inoculate 3,000 medical frontliners, but only 2,600 showed up. That leaves 400 doses for 400 individuals. So that means its vaccine rollout can only accommodate 400 seniors, which doesn’t sound right. Unless I read the story wrong or something got lost in translation.

Either way, the cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu will have their hands full in the coming weeks vaccinating all those elderly. Or not.


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