Monday, June 21, 2021

Editorial: Vaccination issues

WITH the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, the City Government of Davao is facing a challenge on how to be able to slow the increase of new cases and prevent the hospitals from being overwhelmed.

On top of that, the city is also facing another challenge in relation to the Covid-19 -- vaccination.

The city has just recently opened its mega vaccination hub at The Tent in Azuela Cove. This vaccination site is able to cater to 1,000 vaccinees per day. Prior to this, the city government also has other vaccination hubs strategically located in different parts of the city. These sites also include malls and private hospitals.

The City Government is planning to vaccinate at least 10,000 Dabawenyos per day in order to achieve the targeted herd immunity before the end of this year. However, Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said that this is only achievable if there will be ample and steady supply of vaccines in the city.

Last week, Davao City Health Office acting head Dr. Ashley Lopez expressed concern over the low supply of Covid-19 vaccines in Davao City.

“Hinaot unta atong bakuna dili madelay ang pag allocate from the national government kay sa pagkakaron nahurot na ang Astra[Zeneca], nahurot na ang Pfizer. Natagaan ta additional vaccines from DOH [Department of Health] 11, katong Sinovac pero pahurutay napud ning Sinovac. Hopefully dili mastop o mainterrupt ang supply nato so that makapadayon ta og ma-maximize atong pagpabakuna (We’re hoping that the vaccine allocation from the national government won’t be delayed since we have run out of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines. DOH 11 gave us additional Sinovac vaccines, which are also running out as of this time. We hope our vaccine supply won’t be stopped nor interrupted),” the CHO head said.

The delays in vaccination will affect the city's Covid-19 response and could worsen the Covid-19 situation here if not addressed properly.

Sadly, as much as the city wants more vaccines for Davao City, its hands are tied as it will be the national government who will distribute the Covid-19 vaccines. At present, bulk of the vaccines is currently in the National Capital Region. The national government's hands are also tied due to the limited supply of vaccines globally.

Fortunately, things are looking good in the coming weeks after President Rodrigo R. Duterte directed Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez to fast track the Covid-19 rollout in the Visayas and Mindanao. With the arrival of an additional one million doses of Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine, Galvez said the majority of this will be delivered to Mindanao. He added that the majority of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will go to NCR.

Another vaccination issue, this time being faced by the residents, is the lack of clarity when it comes to who gets the vaccine and the process of availing it.

There are several social media posts of individuals allegedly cutting the line. Others have allegedly used contacts to get vaccinated first over senior citizens, health workers, and those with comorbidities. Many on social media have expressed dissatisfaction over the alleged line cutting.

The registration process for those who are A3, based on the experience of some, they had to line up, walk-ins were allowed, and others had to register using the Safe Davao QR. The City Government of Davao has also not posted any updated guide on vaccine registration leaving many unsure and confused on what to do.

We hope these issues will be resolved soon. While a lot of factors come into play in the vaccine supply, the city government with the Department of Health in Davao Region can definitely make improvements and clarifications on how the residents can get the vaccines.


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