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Cebu News

Vaccination turnout in Metro Cebu dips

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Only a meager 17 percent of the 141,750 target number of doses for Metro Cebu was administered in six days of vaccination against COVID-19 from September 6 to 12, 2021, the Visayas COVID-19 Vaccination Operation Center (VVOC) reported.

This means only 23,672 doses were administered, prompting authorities to call on the public anew to not be afraid to get vaccinated.

The center’s spokesperson, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, said the low turnout is not due to the lack of vaccine supply but due to unwillingness of people to get vaccinated.

“Sobrang baba po talaga. Way off po talaga tayong lahat… kaya nanawagan tayo na huwag pong matakot, tayo ay magpabakuna,” Loreche said.

Loreche is also the chief pathologist of the Department of Health (DOH)-7.

Cebu City targeted 48,000 doses but administered only 11,486 doses while Mandaue City administered only 3,867 doses of its 25,000 target. Lapu-Lapu City targeted 28,000 doses but administered only 3,568. Talisay City targeted 22,000 doses but administered only 1,951. Naga City and Minglanilla both targeted 8,000 doses but administered only 733 and 1,062 doses, respectively. The northern town of Consolacion targeted 9,000 doses but administered only 776.

Cordova, for its part, administered only 228 doses of its 3,750 target. The town is under Cebu Province.

VVOC is yet to provide data from the other local government units in Cebu Province.

These Metro Cebu LGUs have a total eligible vaccinees of 1,818,312.

“We have more work ahead of us convincing and educating people that vaccination is part and parcel of our program in our fight against this pandemic for us to be able to open our economy safely already,” Loreche said.

She said there may be pockets of surges of COVID-19 infections moving forward and the only way to avoid hospitals from getting overwhelmed is to get vaccinated. Vaccines are proven to be effective in preventing hospitalization and preventing those who contract the virus from experiencing serious effects.

As of September 13, 2021, a total of 1,743,976 doses were administered in Cebu as a whole – 604,696 doses in Cebu Province; 528,390 doses in Cebu City; 309,850 doses in Mandaue City; and 301,850 doses in Lapu-Lapu City.

On September 13, 2021, at least 200 doses of Gamaleya were given to Cebu City. Metro Cebu and Cebu Province received 108,080 doses of Sinovac.

Central Visayas has received a total of 2,962,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the national government as of September 1, 2021.

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Ernie Manatad, chairperson of the Mandaue City Vaccination Board, said the city will continue working on promoting vaccine confidence among its residents.

“We still have to assess kung nahurot na ba jud pabakuna ang target vaccinees kay even this time, naa pa man gihapon tay madunggan sa barangay nga wala pa magpa-register so we will continue to work on vaccine confidence sa mga tawo aron mo-avail na gyud sa pagpabakuna,” Manatad said.

For his part, Consolacion Mayor Joannes Alegado said it is possible that people wanted to choose the vaccine brand.

“We can only speculate that most probably we already have vaccinated almost all those who are willing. Another factor could probably be still the brand preference among the population.”

He said the town’s “Bakuna Panalo Promo” will continue to entice more residents to get vaccinated. Lucky residents get 25 kilos of rice in the raffle.

“The papremyo is to give appreciation, recognition, and gratitude to those who got vaccinated for they are not only protecting him/herself but others, as well. Yes, padayon gihapon kita sa raffle promo,” he said.

Cebu City

In Cebu City, the capital of Cebu, Councilor Joel Garganera said new approaches may have to be employed to get more residents vaccinated.

“We reached a plateau… we need to have a new approach… house-to-house by our CHD (City Health Department) personnel is vital here,” he said.

“Also, kani atong EO allowing only vaccinated individuals to enter enclosed areas will also motivate residents to go get vaccinated,” he added.

Garganera heads the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

Another strategy the city will roll out is to reach out to returning Cebu City residents who may not have been vaccinated at their LGU of origin.

“For our arrivals, kanang gikan sa other provinces, diha sa atong borders, we will be asking them and giving them the information, undertaking, pa-register sila, then they will be accommodated, dali ra sila mabakunahan,” Garganera said.

“Once they arrive here, they will be informed and can go directly (vaccination site). Naa mi ihatag nga porma, they will fill it up… Pwede said sila’ng mupa-register online unya mudiretso na lang sila sa vaccination site,” Garganera said.

The city has since accommodated to its vaccination program non-residents but who are working in the city. Vaccination sites have also accepted walk-ins.

“We really need to energize the people so that before racing to the holiday, we can have the herd immunity na. At least, makaginhawa na sad. Ang kaning atong mga strategy nga gihimo, we have to be innovative kay for the last three surges, daghang napareklahan nato, daghang nawa sa COVID… gani, sa last nato, pilay nakuha nato… pila ka gatos kapin… so dili na nato buot mausab pa,” he said. — Caecent No-ot Magsumbol, JMO (FREEMAN)

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