WITH the arrival of more vaccine supplies in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, announced the start of the vaccination of the general adult population against coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
However, local government units (LGUs) are urged to put up special lanes for senior citizens and persons with comorbidities who have yet to receive the vaccine.
The DOH announcement was made ahead of the pilot vaccination of minors 12 to 17 years old with comorbidities beginning Friday, Oct. 15.
In Cebu City, registration of minors will start Tuesday, Oct. 12, Acting Mayor Michael Rama said. He urged the parents to register their children as he stressed that vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection.
Parents or the minors themselves may register at pabakunata.com. Just click on “Minor 12-17,” fill up the form and click “Register Child.” There is no need to fill up the Quick Search part.
Rama said the City Government has adequate vaccine supply. The vaccination sites that will cater to the minors will be announced soon.
Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, head of the City Health Department, said there are around 160,000 minors in Cebu City.
He said they were just waiting for the guidelines on the vaccination of minors.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, in a press conference Monday, said guidelines for the vaccination of minors 12 to 17 years old with comorbidities will be out soon.
The guidelines for the vaccination of the general adult population have also been drawn up and the document was being routed for signing, Vergeire added.
She said the Vaccine Cluster is also expected to issue soon a directive to vaccination sites across the country, allowing the inoculation of the general adult population.
Some LGUs, however, have already started inoculating the general adult population even before the DOH announcement.
The Philippines received an additional 918,450 doses of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine on Sunday from the United States government, which made the donation through the Covax Facility.
As of Sunday, the Philippines has received a total of 86,494,050 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, of which 22,561,180 doses were donated through the Covax.
The new Pfizer vaccine shipment that arrived Sunday is part of the 1.8 million doses committed to the Philippines by the US government through Covax. The remaining doses consisting of 924,300 were expected to arrive on Monday, Oct. 11.
“We’re really proud to be part of this effort here in the Philippines to vaccinate the Filipino people including teenagers and children so we can get them back to school,” US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava said during the arrival of the shipment.
The Philippines started vaccinations against Covid-19 on March 1, 2021, beginning with the health workers especially those in the front lines of the battle against the pandemic.
Other priority groups, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities, followed. The government also later allowed vaccinations of workers in essential sectors and indigent sector.
As of Oct. 10, the National Covid-19 Vaccination Dashboard showed that more than 23.18 million have been fully vaccinated in the country while a total of 49.67 million doses have been administered.
The fully vaccinated constitutes 30 percent of the target adult population 18 years old and over. First dose inoculations, meanwhile, surpassed 26.48 million.
In the Visayas, Visayas Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) spokesperson Mary Jean Loreche urged those eligible to get the vaccine if they want their Christmas to be merry this year.
Vaccinations slowed down in Metro Cebu to just 1,105 on Oct. 10, a mere fraction of the daily target of 19,692. These were fewer than the 3,109 on Oct. 9 and 5,423 on Oct. 8.
The figures were from the vaccination sites in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay and Naga, and in the municipality of Minglanilla.
“We are super, super, super low with our jabbing per day. At the rate that we are going, if we can’t address this then we might be lagging behind our projection of having a very happy, merry Christmas which is just two months away already,” Loreche said in a briefing Monday.
As of Oct. 9, a total of 2,188,166 vaccine doses have been administered in Cebu.
Mandaue City is leading the local government units as 56.14 percent of its eligible population are fully vaccinated. Around 61.11 percent of the target population have received at least one dose.
It was followed by Lapu-Lapu City, with 48.26 percent fully vaccinated individuals and 54.57 percent with one dose; Minglanilla with 45.13 percent fully vaccinated and 50.30 percent for the first dose; and Cebu City with 44.36 percent fully vaccinated and 50.18 percent for the first dose.
In Cebu Province, 424,707 individuals have received their first dose. Of this number, 371,858 have been fully vaccinated. (SunStar Philippines, PAC, JOB)