DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Amid the rollout of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine in Davao City over the weekend, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio declined to comment on getting herself inoculated, instead she dealt with the need to inform the public on the importance of getting the vaccine shots.
When asked by a reporter during her Special Hour on DCDR 87.5 FM Monday where she discussed updates on the inoculation in the city, she said, “I will not comment on that.”
The City Government of Davao has aimed to fast-track the COVID-19 vaccination in the city amid the rise of new COVID-19 variants coming into the country plus the lifting of mandatory RT-PCR test for incoming flight passengers.
Mayor Duterte-Carpio said the inoculation of frontline health workers is prioritized to protect them from the new variants.
‘’We need to make sure that they will get vaccinated when they come face-to-face with the virus, so that they will have some sort of protection,” she said.
Over the week, Davao Region received a total of 33,600 Sinovac’s Coronavac vaccines donated by China, which is allocated for 16,800 health workers.
But of the 6,000 personnel in the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC), only 960 got vaccinated as of March 7. Meanwhile, health workers in the private sector have also started their inoculation.
SPMC Chief Ricardo Audan in an interview said most of the health workers opted not to take Sinovac’s Coronavac because of co-morbidities and their age above 60 which is not recommended to receive Sinovac.
Meanwhile, 20,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines have arrived in Davao City this Wednesday morning. Davao City Covid-19 Vaccine Cluster Head Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said in an interview with DCDR that health workers who declined the Sinovac due to medical and age reasons will be qualified for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
But Villafuerte has said that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has advised that the city needs to use all the allocated Sinovac vaccines before rolling out AstraZeneca. There will be updates on this matter as the two brands are now in their disposal.
Mayor Duterte-Carpio said the vaccination will not be made mandatory for city government employees or to Davao City residents despite the city government’s target of herd immunity of 1.2 million.
The mayor said the city government will push for information and education to make people understand the need for the vaccine. There are no details as to whether citizens are given the option to choose between which vaccine to use.
“Our way of making people opt or choose to be vaccinated is to explain what vaccination is,” she said.
City health officials reported earlier that more than 530,000 Davao City residents have registered for the vaccination program.
Davao City has totaled 13,253 cases of COVID-19 with 643 deaths, 535 active cases, and 23 new cases as of March 9.covid-19, davao city, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, pandemic, Vaccination program