Iligan starts vaccinating senior citizens against COVID-19

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 06 May) – The city’s Emergency Operations Center-Health Cluster of the Local Inter Agency Task Force started Wednesday its anti-COVID-19 vaccination for senior citizens classified as A2 target priority at the third level, cinema lobby of Robinson’s Place in barangay Tubod.

The vaccination will run until Friday, May 7.

Dr. Belinda Lim, city health officer and EOC manager said they are targeting to vaccinate 34,460 senior citizens.

Medical frontliners from the Emergency Operation Center of the local IATF in Iligan City administer Sinovac-made vaccines against COVID-19 for senior citizens at Robinson’s Place on Wednesday, May 6, 2021. MindaNews photo by RICHEL V. UMEL

The recipient senior citizens mostly came from villages with high cases of COVID-19 like Tubod, Pala-o, Suarez, Hinaplanon, Tibanga  Saray, Poblacion, Maria Cristina, Tambacan, Tomas Cabili and Dalipuga, Lim said.

The EOC received 2,702 vials of Sinovac-made vaccines for the first dose.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the EOC recorded 14 new infections bringing the total active cases to 104 active cases, 67 of whom were confined in isolation facilities and 37 admitted in hospitals.

The city has recorded 1,636 cases, 1,439 recoveries, and 93 deaths.

“For the next three days we expect some 2,200 recipients of Sinovac vaccine to include some remaining A1 priority healthcare frontline workers who were not included earlier since some were deferred, some were positive of COVID-19. They will be scheduled on May 7, on the last day of vaccination,” Lim said.

“The vaccination schedule will depend on the arrival of vaccines sent from Department of Health Central Office to DOH 10. Then the DOH 10 will distribute the allocation for every city and province in the region,” she added.

She praised the senior citizens for being punctual, which she said means they are eager to be vaccinated.

But the activity was delayed due to the DOH requirement of a ceremonial vaccination where influential people get to be immunized first to convince the target recipients that the vaccine is safe and effective.

Lim said City Mayor Celso Regencia, although already 60 years, declined to be prioritized in favor of other recipients.

City Councilors Noli Pardillio and Simplicio Larazabal became the recipients during the ceremonial vaccination, she said.

Some senior citizens complained they came early and waited for more than two hours. Others said they took a late lunch.

Cristopo Labastida Jr., 69, of Barangay Tubod said he felt glad to receive the vaccine.

He said he was afraid that with his advanced age he might die if he gets infected with COVID-19, so he decided to be immunized with the permission of his child.

He said he is taking vitamins daily to boost his immune system.

Josephine Sumile, 62, also a resident of Barangay Tubod, urged other senior citizens to avail of the vaccination for their protection. (Richel V. Umel/MindaNews)