MORE than 900 adults aged 60 and above in Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City received their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine during the first day of the vaccination campaign for senior citizens on Monday, April 19, 2021.
Cebu City Health Department (CHD) officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said they had targeted to inoculate only around 500 individuals and spend the latter half of the day for an assessment.
With the large turnout, however, Ibones said the vaccination lasted until 4 p.m. Monday and they ended up vaccinating a total of 793 senior citizens.
The vaccines against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) were administered at the Robinsons Galleria for the senior citizens from Barangay Mambaling and University of Cebu (UC) Banilad for those from Barangay Mabolo.
Despite the City Hall’s advice against walk-in recipients, there were still more than 50 senior citizens without prior registration who were given the vaccine.
“Some of them were willing to wait, so we decided to just give them the vaccine,” Ibones said.
Of the 793, six experienced mild adverse events after inoculation, such as elevated blood pressure and dizziness.
On Tuesday, April 20, senior citizens from Barangays Talamban and Banilad are scheduled to be inoculated at UC Banilad, while those from Basak Pardo and Kinasang-an will get their vaccine at Robinsons Galleria.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama, who is 66 years old, announced he will also get his first shot on April 20 at Robinsons Galleria.
He said he will invite Mayor Edgardo Labella to get inoculated at the same time.
Labella, in a separate interview, said he was willing to get vaccinated together with Rama, but he still had to check his schedule on April 20.
Besides, he said his doctor had advised him to get the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Ibones said there is no available AstraZeneca vaccine, but the CHD still has more than 3,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine out of the 4,600 doses at the beginning of the day.
The CHD had 600 doses on hand and 4,000 additional doses that were delivered over the weekend.
More than 24,000 other senior citizens are waiting to get inoculated.
Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) executive director Jeffrey Ocampo said the number of senior citizens who have registered online has gone up to almost 15,000.
There were also 10,000 individuals who agreed to be vaccinated during their house-to-house campaign. Their names were being encoded.
How to register
The Cebu Citizens Initiative, the cluster in charge for the information and education campaign of Cebu City’s Vaccine Advisory Board (VAB), has developed the website www.PABAKUNATA.com to facilitate online registration.
This will lead to Cebu City’s vaccine registration page at https://mics.cebucity.gov.ph/vims/page/register.
In a press conference Monday, Cerwin Eviota of the Cebu Citizens Initiative said their website is easier to recall.
The group has also launched a slogan and jingle for the vaccination program to counter vaccine hesitancy.
Residents who have no access to the internet or find it hard to register online may go to the vaccine registration desks in their barangays.
Kasambagan Barangay Captain Franklyn Ong, who is also the president of the Association of Barangay Councils (ABC), said two barangay personnel are assigned to man the registration desk in each barangay.
All the 80 barangays have been given this instruction and their personnel have undergone an orientation by the CHD, he said.
Project Balik Buhay
Project Balik Buhay (PBB) chairman Edmun Liu, who was also present in the press conference, encouraged the private companies to enroll their employees in the PBB vaccination program.
The Covid-19 vaccination program pre-listing for companies will be held until April 30, 2021.
On the Facebook page of PBB, the private companies can register and download the documents on www.projectbalikbuhay.com/register.html and email completed forms to email@example.com.
Liu said vaccination sites at the Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital (CDUH) in Cebu City, ARC Hospital in Lapu-Lapu City, and Chong Hua Hospital in Mandaue City have been activated.
In Lapu-Lapu City, 128 senior citizens were expected to have been inoculated with the first dose at the ARC Hospital on Monday, according to City Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit Officer Grace Mary Carungay.
“Those vaccinated at the ARC are mostly relatives of the hospital staff. Some reside nearby,” Carungay said.
On Tuesday, April 20, Carungay said other vaccination sites in Lapu-Lapu City will begin administering the vaccines to senior citizens.
The other sites are the Barangay Agus gym, Gun-ob Elementary School and Lapu-Lapu City Hospital as well as the Sta. Rosa Hospital on Olango Island.
Carungay said they have assigned clusters of barangays to each vaccination site.
The target is to administer the vaccine to 100 senior citizens a day.
When all able senior citizens have received their first dose, Carungay said vaccination teams will also go around the city to inoculate senior citizens who could not leave their homes due to illness.
The Mandaue City Vaccine Board will start administering vaccines to senior citizens from Barangays Subangdaku, Tabok and Cabancalan on Wednesday, April 21.
Ernie Manatad, chairman of the Vaccine Board, told SunStar Cebu that based on their master list, there are around 1,000 medical workers who have yet to receive their first dose. Less than 200, however, are willing to get vaccinated.
He said they have 1,180 doses of Sinovac left. After inoculating the medical workers, they would have 980 doses for senior citizens.
As of April 16, the Mandaue City Vaccine Operation Center (MVOC) reported that 14,600 senior citizens, or 61 percent of the 24,000 senior citizens in the city, are already on the list.
Department of Health Central Visayas (DOH 7) data, however, showed that there are around 36,000 senior citizens to be inoculated in Mandaue City.
Manatad said individuals who recently turned 60 have yet to register with the Office of Senior Citizens Association.
They are encouraged to go to their respective barangays and present their Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) birth certificate. (JJL / PAC / KFD / GCM)