THE Cebu City Health Department (CHD) has allocated a budget of P30 million for the purchase of pneumococcal and flu vaccines.
CHD officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said their current supply of flu shots came from the Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas and these are intended only for frontliners who are in charge of the City-run vaccination sites.
Earlier, the Cebu City Council, through a resolution of Councilor Alvin Dizon, asked the CHD to prioritize the flu vaccination program of the City, especially for children who are not yet allowed to be inoculated with coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccines.
The government is currently in the masterlisting stage for children aged 12 to 17 years old for Covid-19 vaccination.
Ibones said the CHD welcomed the City Council’s request, stressing that flu shots will be immediately distributed to barangays as soon as they are delivered to CHD.
He said the budget for the purchase of vaccines was sourced from the supplemental budget of 2021.
The flu shots will be given for free, he added.
He said the CHD is just waiting for the delivery of the flu vaccines, adding that the procurement was just recently made.
But Ibones admitted that health centers cannot require parents to submit their children for inoculation, saying the flu vaccination is voluntary.
"The least we can do is to encourage the parents to avail (themselves) of the flu vaccines. It is very appropriate during this time," he told SunStar Cebu. (JJL)