Quezon City to start A4 vaccinations today
People belonging to A1 to A4 categories queue for a Sinovac vaccine at Bagong Silang Elementary School in Caloocan City on June 9, 2021.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

Quezon City to start A4 vaccinations today

Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - June 11, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government will start today the vaccination of economic and government frontliners or those belonging to the A4 category.

The national government allowed the vaccination of those belonging to the category as early as Monday, but Mayor Joy Belmonte said the city received its fresh supply of vaccines only on Wednesday afternoon.

Online appointment slots for A1 to A4 categories were opened by the city government on Thursday afternoon, while barangay-assisted bookings were also made available for those who have no online access.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Belmonte said they received 53,800 doses of Sinovac, 10,000 of which were used to replenish their supply for second doses.

The city also received 8,900 Russian-made Gamaleya vaccines that will be reserved for senior citizens, she said.

“Last time, there was such a great demand and we ran out of first dose vaccines. I asked permission from the Department of Health if it was possible to use some second doses for first doses and they gave me permission,” she explained.

The mayor said it is still unclear if they can allocate all of the new vaccines as first doses, noting that they have yet to receive details on when new deliveries will arrive.

While the city can inoculate up to 24,000 people per day, Belmonte said that she would rather “stretch out” the supply to give people alternative dates to book their appointments.

“We will limit the number of sites to be operated consistent with what we can supply in terms of vaccines. If we do it in full force, we can activate 50 sites. But given the lack of supply, we’re thinking of activating only eight of our vaccine sites,” she said.

Latest data showed that a total of 432,633 doses have been administered in the city, including 334,211 for the first dose and 98,422 for the second jab.

Those who received their first dose represent almost 20 percent of the initial target of 1.7 million people, which is 70 percent of the total adult population in the city.

Belmonte said their target may increase to 2.2 million if the vaccination would include minors aged 12 to 17 years old.

Provided that there is a steady vaccine supply, the mayor said the city can finish inoculating 1.7 million people in four months and 2.2 million in six months.

“We’re trying our best to increase and improve access for all our priority groups,” she said, citing plans to have special lanes and dedicated vaccination sites for those belonging to the A2 and A3 categories.

The city is also looking at having two shifts in some sites to accommodate those who cannot take leaves from work, as well as bringing mobile vaccination centers to markets and other areas where many economic frontliners are based.

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