THE local government in Candaba town, Pampanga is expanding the protection against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as it started rolling out vaccination for minors on Monday, November 15, 2021.

Mayor Rene Maglanque, who personally inspected the first day of jabbing, said nearly 2,500 Candabeños aged 12 to 17 years old were inoculated on the first two days of the vaccination drive.

Minors who were vaccinated were and must be accompanied by their parents or guardians who will sign the waivers on behalf of the vaccinees, the mayor said.

To ensure the fast rollout, Maglanque ordered the opening of three jabbing sites at the Trade Center for Poblacion area residents, Barangay Bahay Pare for Tagalog Region residents and Barangay Salapungan for Kapampangan Region residents.

"Katulad nung ginawa ko sa pagbabakuna sa mga non-minors, nagbukas din ako ng tatlong vaccination sites para mas mabilis, hindi na bumyahe ng malayo ang mga tao at mabawasan ang exposure nila sa virus," he said.

(Just like when I did the vaccination of non-minors, I also opened three vaccination sites to make it faster, people don't have to travel far and reduce their exposure to the virus.)

Face-to-face classes

Maglanque said they are speeding up the inoculation of eligible minors to ensure that they are protected ahead of the expected reopening of face-to-face classes soon.

He said the local government coordinated with school principals and supervisors to educate and urge their students to get jabbed.

"Sa pagmomonitor ko, nakikita ko na mas agresibo ang mga magulang na mabakunahan ang mga anak nila siguro dahil nararamdaman nila na papalapit na talaga ang pagbalik ng face-to-face classes at gusto nila protektado ang mga anak nila," he said.

(In my monitoring, I see that parents are more aggressive in vaccinating their children perhaps because they feel that the return of face-to-face classes is really approaching and they want their children protected.)

As of Monday, Maglanque said around 50 percent of the target population of Candabeños aged 18 years old and above have already received their first dose of vaccine, while over 35 percent of the population are already fully protected.

Meanwhile, the active Covid-19 cases in the town have also dropped to 18 as of Wednesday, which is far from the over 200 active cases recorded in the town in the past months.

Vice Mayor Michael Sagum assured the full support of the Sangguniang Bayan through legislative measures to ensure the fast rollout of vaccines in town.

"Nung humingi ng pondo si Mayor Rene para sa additional na mga doktor, agad kaming kumilos sa Sanggunian para masiguro ang mabilis na rollout ng bakuna sa aming bayan," he said.

(When Mayor Rene asked for funding for additional doctors, we immediately acted with the Council to ensure the rapid rollout of the vaccine in our town.)