DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 June) – There are no confirmed cases of people who have died after receiving anti-COVID-19 vaccines in the city, Dr. Ashley Lopez, Davao City Health Office acting head clarified on Friday.
In a statement, Lopez said reports that two persons died after getting the vaccine are still being thoroughly investigated, adding the cases are likely coincidental.
He assured that the vaccines available in the country are safe and effective, as they have been granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drugs Administration.
“Let us support, commit, and participate in the vaccination program because in the end we will be able to realize the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination,” he said.
Lopez encouraged the public to get themselves vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
The city needs to inoculate 1.2 million residents to achieve herd immunity.
Based on the data from DOH-Davao, the region has so far received 642,050 doses from the national government, which included the 210,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines from COVAX facility that arrived in two batches on Thursday and Friday.
He said the arrival of additional doses of vaccines can enable the city to open up the immunization program for those in the A4 category or the essential workers.
A4 includes private sector workers who work outside their homes; employees in government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or controlled corporations and local government units; and informal sector workers and self-employed persons who work outside their homes and those working in private households.
“The arrival of these vaccines will ensure that the most number of Dabawenyos will be vaccinated at the soonest possible time, leading to a faster vaccine rollout with the rest of the community so that we may eventually achieve herd immunity,” Lopez said.
Annabelle Yumang, director of DOH-Davao, said that out of the 88,755 health workers (A1) listed for vaccination, 72,128 received the first dose and 46,860 have been fully vaccinated.
The region also listed 367,350 persons belonging to A2 or senior citizens, of whom 93,571 have received the first dose while 832 have been fully vaccinated, she said.
She said registration for A3 or persons with comorbidities is ongoing but the agency has so far recorded 63,735. Of this number, 26,480 have so far received the first dose and 11 the second dose.
Yumang said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines would be allocated for the city because other provinces in the region don’t have ultra-cold storage facilities for the US-made vaccines.
She said the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines need to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius.
She said the agency would procure ultra-cold storage facilities to be distributed among the provinces in the region.
As of June 10, DOH-Davao reported 510 new infections, bringing the total cases to 32,031, with 5,594 active ones, 25,239 recoveries, and 1,198 deaths in the region.
Of the total, Davao City, which reported the highest COVID-19 incidence in Mindanao, tallied 19,012 cases, with 2,897 active ones, 15,320 recoveries, and 795 deaths.
Davao de Oro reported 2,377 cases, Davao del Norte 6,017, Davao del Sur 2,228, Davao Occidental 383, and Davao Oriental 2,014. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)