Galvez vows more COVID-19 vaccines for CDO, Gingoog amid Delta variant detection

There is no queue outside SM CDO Downtown Premier in Cagayan de Oro City on Saturday, July 17, 2021, a day after the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) implemented the Enhanced Community Quarantine following the announcement that five cases of the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 had been detected in Cagayan de Oro City. Only establishments offering basic necessities like pharmacies, banks, supermarkets, telecom shops and hardware stores inside the malls are allowed to open during the ECQ until July 31, 2021. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 19 July) – The national government “will give priority” to the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Gingoog in the distribution of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine to fend off a possible outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in the area, Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. vowed Monday.

Galvez, chief implementer of the government’s  COVID-19 response, said they will be sending “thousands of doses” of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine with the detection of the Delta variant in the two cities.

The two cities were placed under enhanced community quarantine by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on Friday, the most restrictive among quarantine classifications, following the detection of the Delta variant.

The national government would also be sending “thousands more doses” to General Santos City and the island-province of Tawi-Tawi, where there is a largely unchecked cross border connection between Indonesia and Malaysia, to avoid making them the “growth areas” of the Delta variant in the country, Galvez said.

Galvez said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also be supplied to regions who reported local cases of the Delta variant.

He and other officials of the National Inter-Agency Task Force met with Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno and Gingoog Mayor Erick Cañosa to assess local efforts in combatting the highly infectious Delta variant.

“We will supply you with Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as many as you want as long you double your vaccination drive,” Galvez said.

He said Cagayan de Oro City should increase its vaccination drive to 5,000 a day and 2,000 a day for Gingoog City.

As of July 16, 2021, a total of 97,853 Cagayan de Oro residents have been inoculated. Of that, 66,231 residents got their first dose while 31,622 already have two doses.

Galvez said that if Cagayan de Oro can reach the goal of 5,000 people vaccinated every day, seventy percent of the city’s 700,000 population would be vaccinated by December this year.

The Philippines received a donation of 1.6 million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from the United States last July 17.

The US government said that it would be donating a total of 3.2 million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which its manufacturer said showed promise of “durable protection” against the Delta variant. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)