Quezon City seniors get J&J jabs

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government has allotted its first supply of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine to senior citizens.

At least 19,000 elderly residents from the city’s second district received the COVID-19 vaccines during the special rollout yesterday.

Mayor Joy Belmonte said senior citizens must be prioritized amid the threat of the more infectious Delta variant and the high number of COVID-19 patients in the area.

“District 2 has the most number of underprivileged communities, which makes them vulnerable to the virus and the least able to afford hospital care,” Belmonte said.

“The decision to allocate the J&J supply to District 2 was based on evidence, including the number of COVID cases, deaths and other factors affecting the senior citizens in the area,” she added.

Composed of five barangays, District 2 has a population of over 738,000, the largest among the six districts in Quezon City.

As of July 26, the district has recorded 13,834 out of the 106,137 total COVID cases in the city.

According to the city’s Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU), the number of new cases of COVID-19 in District 2 has increased by around 21 percent in the past two weeks.

“Considering the population and the current case count in District 2, virus transmission is highly probable, especially with the threat of the Delta variant,” CESU chief Rolando Cruz said.

A single COVID case can lead to multiple infections due to the fact that there are many vulnerable individuals and quarantine protocols are hard to implement because the houses are clustered, Cruz added.

As of Tuesday, a total of 139,461 senior citizens in Quezon City have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccines. Of the number, at least 91,000 are fully vaccinated.

Some 75,000 seniors are expected to be inoculated by the end of the week.

The city government targets to vaccinate at least 300,000 senior citizens.

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