Thursday, September 16, 2021

Editorial: Bringing vaccination closer to the people

THE current system of vaccination in Davao City is you register through the district health centers, Safe Davao QR, or sectoral organizations or groups for the A4 priority group.

Once you get your schedule, you will be instructed to go to one of the designated vaccination sites in the city for your vaccination.

As of July 25, 2021, the City Government of Davao has administered 330,945 doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the first dose and 149,122 for the second dose.

If we break it down per priority group, as of July 25, for A1 (Health care workers), a total of 47,332 has been administered for the first dose and 37,928 for the second dose. For the A2 priority group (senior citizens), a total of 76,472 has been given for the first dose and 27,365 for the second dose. A total of 101,833 doses of Covid-19 vaccines were given as a first dose for the A3 group (persons with comorbidities) while 77,646 were administered for the second dose. For the A4 priority group (essential workers), 97,446 have received their first dose and 1,056 received their second dose. Lastly, 7,871 were already administered for first dose of the A5 group (poor population) while 5,127 have received their second dose.

While the City Government of Davao is making progress in its vaccination against Covid-19, it still faces issues when it comes to accessibility. This is evident with the regular questioning of people as to how they can get the vaccines.

The issue of accessibility is quite observable among the A2 priority group of senior citizens. When it is time for some of them to get the second dose, some of them have not returned to the vaccination sites due to several reasons. Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio confirmed this during an interview on the Davao City Disaster Radio on August 2.

As to what those reasons are, the mayor did not elaborate. However, we can safely assume that some of them are not able to get their second dose because they may be too weak to go when it was their schedule. It is also possible that some of them live too far from the vaccination sites and it is not easy for them to go there or there is no one to bring them there.

To address this issue, Duterte-Carpio said the City Government of Davao is planning to conduct a mobile vaccination for the senior citizens.

“Sila ang pangitaon sa bakuna, dili sila ang mangita sa bakuna (We will bring the vaccines to them and not the other way around),” the mayor said.

This plan is an effective way to ensure that our seniors are partially or fully vaccinated.

With the Delta variant, it is important that the City Government implement other strategies to ensure that more willing Dabawenyos are inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine.

In a way, this allows the city to cover more ground and reduce the crowding at the vaccination sites.

This is just one step of bringing the vaccines closer to Dabawenyos who want to get the vaccine.

The City Government is also considering drive-through, house-to-house, and barangay vaccination.

But the mayor said the house-to-house and barangay vaccination will still depend with the supply of the vaccines and the capability of the barangays to vaccinate.

Making the vaccination more accessible to people is one way that the city could accelerate its vaccination efforts. With more Dabawenyos vaccinated, more will be protected from the effects of Covid-19 on their health. At the same time, this will allow a safer opening for the local economy.


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