Labella to get vaccine, hopes to inspire public confidence

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol (The Freeman) - April 8, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Hoping to set as an example and improve the turnout for vaccine registration, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has vowed to be among the first to get inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine once supplies for senior citizens arrive.

Labella told reporters yesterday that out of the 83,000 seniors registered in Cebu City, only 11,000 have so far enlisted to get the vaccine.

The National Task Force has since given mayors the go signal to get vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine to boost vaccine confidence among their constituents.

Labella said he had already made arrangements to have himself vaccinated, although he did not mention the exact date and place.

Most likely, Labella said, he will get a shot of AstraZeneca as it is the one available for seniors.

Sputnik, he added, is also good for seniors but he said it is not yet available in the country.


Earlier, Department of Health-7 spokesperson Dr. Mary Jean Loreche said that Central Visayas has put up 557 vaccination posts in preparation for the vaccination of those next in line -- the senior citizens and persons with comorbidities.

The initial master list for the A2 priority or the senior citizens showed 547,344 people from Central Visayas who are eligible to get the vaccine as of April 6.  The breakdown is: Cebu Province, 157,264; Bohol Province, 157,103; Negros Oriental, 128,025; Siquijor Province, 11,000; Cebu City, 88,000; Lapu-Lapu City, 3,500; and Mandaue City, 2,130.

Loreche said that as of yesterday, no vaccines were available for senior citizens yet as the 14,400 doses of Sinovac that arrived in Cebu yesterday are still intended for healthcare workers.

Labella expressed optimism that when other seniors see him inoculated, others will also follow suit, adding that while there may be some risks involved, experts have said that the benefits risks outweigh the benefits.

Labella also took the opportunity to “thank God” for sparing him from being infected with COVID-19 even with his “medical challenges,” especially in light of the fact that the mayors of neighboring cities like Talisay, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu have all contracted the disease.

Aside from calling all seniors to register now, Labella also urged healthcare workers not yet vaccinated to get the shot.

Over 2,000 health workers in Cebu City remain unvaccinated.

Mandaue preparations

Meanwhile, in preparation for the mass vaccination, the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex is being prepared as one of the mass vaccination sites in the city.

Spacious and air-conditioned, the facility is expected to aid the city’s vaccination rollout program in line with the national government’s thrust to expedite vaccination efforts.

Subangdaku barangay captain Ernie Manatad, the city’s vaccine committee overall chairman, said that as of Tuesday, 8,700 senior citizens or 36 percent of the city’s 24,097 validated registered senior citizens have already registered to receive COVID-19 vaccine. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, JMD (FREEMAN)

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