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Delivery delays hamper vaccination in 'lower-risk' Quezon province

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Delivery delays hamper vaccination in 'lower-risk' Quezon province
This July 23, 2021 photo shows the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City.
Quezon Public Information Office

QUEZON, Philippines (Updated 7:28 p.m.) — Shortages that have suspended vaccination programs in some Metro Manila cities are also being felt outside the capital.

In Quezon province, a town councilor said deliveries of vaccines are few and far between.

"Their reason is that Quezon Province is not a priority for vaccine delivery because there [is] no surge of COVID-19 infections," John Joseph Aquivido, a town councilor of Macalelon who also heads the local committee on health, told Philstar.com.

He said the people of Macalelon are eager to get inoculated against COVID-19 but that deliveries of vaccines are often delayed.

Aquivido said deliveries to other towns in Quezon are also delayed, with island municipialities and other places considered Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas are the most affected.

Few cases in Quezon

According to the Quezon Province Public Information Office on Tuesday, there are 752 active COVID-19 cases in the province, which is under General Community Quarantine.  

Macalelon town has two active cases while Lucena, the provincial capital, has 183.

The province has so far administered 134,243 doses of the vaccine, with 41,344 people receiving both of two doses. Another 92,899 have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Aquivido said that with the inconsistent deliveries, the town might not achieve herd immunity before December 2022. 

"We should be more preventive than curative," Aquivido explained, saying that prioritizing places with COVID-19 surges is curative. He said there should be proper vaccine allocations to the provinces and that officials should not wait for surges to happen before making vaccination there a priority.

"I hope our officials, especially the Department of Health and the IATF, will have a recalibration of mind and review the current situation of rollout and look for a more proper delivery of vaccine deliveries," Aquivido said.

Last month, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said that the COVID-19 vaccine supply is expected to normalize by June 14 with more doses arriving in the country. Despite that, some local government units have halted their vaccination programs due to lack of supply. — Siegfred Aldous Lacerna, intern

COVID-19 VACCINES QUEZON
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