VACCINE preference is now causing a drop in the number of vaccinees showing up at vaccination sites across Metro Cebu.
The Cebu City Vaccine Operations Center (VOC), for one, has noted that people are being “picky” with vaccine brands, resulting in a low number of vaccinees.
Cebu City Health Department (CHD) officer-in-charge Jeffrey Ibones said there has been a low turnout in the CHD’s output for first dose vaccinees even though the City Government now allows walk-ins at the vaccination sites.
Ibones made the disclosure after the Visayas Vaccine Operations Center (VVOC) noticed that some local government units in Metro Cebu, including Cebu City, recently failed to meet its target number of doses set to be administered in a week.
“Based on my observation, people prefer Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna,” Ibones said n an interview with SunStar Cebu.
Ibones though did not disclose the vaccine brands currently being administered in Cebu City’s vaccination sites.
Ibones said on the average, the City can vaccinate 8,000 individuals daily but the figure includes both first dose and second dose vaccinees.
Ibones said the City will continue to allow walk-ins “until further notice,” as the electronic system used to relay messages to the registered individuals is still undergoing maintenance.
In Lapu-Lapu City, VOC Deputy Officer James Sayson said immunizing 70 percent of the eligible population to be able to reach herd immunity before the end of 2021 remains a big challenge to the City.
This after the number of vaccinees in the city’s sites dropped over the past few days.
Sayson said only fewer than 500 people a day visit Lapu-Lapu City’s vaccination sites.
He said the City has vaccinated 51.74 percent of its eligible population but most of them have gotten only their first dose.
This means that it will take at least 21 days to two months before these vaccinees are able to get their full doses.
Sayson said their biggest challenge now is in how to convince the other 20 percent of the city’s eligible population to have themselves vaccinated before the end of 2021 since these are the same individuals who declined vaccination in a survey conducted earlier.
The Lapu-Lapu City VOC (LVOC) opened a drive-thru vaccination site at the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan on Monday, Sept. 13, 2021 to speed up efforts to inoculate more residents.
The opening of the drive-thru site was delayed twice due to a shortage of available nurses and doctors.
To avoid traffic in the area, only 15 vehicles will be allowed into the vaccination area every hour, LVOC said.
Sayson said the others will be asked to wait in a parking area at the Mactan Newtown Center access road near the shrine.
VVOC spokesperson Mary Jean Loreche said the first dose consumption rate of Central Visayas on Covid-19 vaccines is at 87.5 percent, while it is at 72.8 percent for the second dose.
As of Sept. 13, Central Visayas received a total of 3,156,080 doses of mixed brand of Covid-19 vaccines.
Loreche said the region received an additional 44 trays or 51,480 doses of Pfizer vaccine on Thursday morning.
Additional doses of Sinovac were also delivered, but the VVOC still has to get the actual number of doses delivered in the region.
Loreche said vaccine preference remains a factor for the progress of the vaccination program in Metro Cebu.
She also said misinformation has caused fear and hesitancy among eligible individuals in addition to problems on accessibility to the vaccine sites. (JJL, GCM, WBS)