Davao City to employ mobile COVID-19 vaccination for senior citizens

Senior citizens register for free vaccination against COVID-19 at SM City in Davao City on Tuesday (May 18, 2021), the second day of vaccination for the city’s elderly residents. MindaNews photo by GREGORIO BUENO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 02 August) – A mobile vaccination targeting senior citizens is currently being worked out as the number of elderly people who are fully protected against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains low.

Mayor Sara Duterte told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Monday that the office of Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte will handle the mobile vaccination to improve the number of senior citizens getting fully vaccinated.

Senior citizens, or persons 60 years old and above, belong to the A2 priority list of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program.

As of July 25, the City Government of Davao reported a total of 76,472 senior citizens who received the first dose, but only 27,365 completed the two doses nearly three months since the vaccination for A2 started last May 11.

Citing data from the City Social Welfare and Development Office, Duterte said the population of senior citizens in the city was estimated between 200,000 to 300,000.

Once the mobile vaccination is ready, the mayor said that the seniors don’t need to leave their residences to flock to the vaccination sites to get inoculated.

In a press release issued by the City Information Office, the mobile vaccination is an additional option for senior citizens apart from public vaccination in designated City Health Office-run vaccination sites per district.

The city has 21 operational vaccination sites to date.

“We can see from our numbers that only a small percentage of our A2 got vaccinated so far. We will organize a mobile vaccination exclusively for senior citizens. We will look for them and know their reasons why they can’t leave their homes. They might be bed-ridden or suffering from illnesses,” she said.

Duterte noted that older people should be encouraged to get vaccinated because they have the highest risk of death from COVID-19.

As of July 25, at least 330,945 residents have received the first dose of anti-COVID-19 vaccines, of whom 149,122 are fully vaccinated.

Of this number, the number of priority A1 or health workers who received the first dose was 47,332 and 37,928 for second dose; priority A3 or persons with co-morbidities, 101,833 first dose and 77,646 second dose; priority A4 or essential workers, 97,446 first dose and 1,056 second dose; and priority A5 or poor population, 7,871 first dose and 5,127 second dose.

Dutere said she ordered to intensify the campaign on the importance of vaccination to close the gap between the number of persons receiving the first dose and the second dose.

She said receiving only the first dose of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine will not suffice to get protected against the virus.

Duterte encouraged the public to get vaccinated to get protected amid the threat of Delta variant or B.1.617.2 here.

Davao City reported two additional local cases of the Delta variant on Saturday, which brought the total to three in the city and four in Davao Region, including the first Delta case reported in Tagum City.

“The Delta variant can spread faster. If there are more people getting infected, more people will also be hospitalized. If our hospitals cannot catch up with the rising cases and cannot attend to the needs of the patients, more people will likely die of COVID-19,” she said.

As of August 1, Department of Health (DOH-Davao) reported 54,818 COVID-19 cases with 6,795 active, 46,213 recoveries and 1,810 deaths.

Out of the total cases, Davao City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in Mindanao, logged 30,690 cases with 2,766 active, 26,894 recoveries and 1,030 deaths. Davao de Oro tallied 4,265 cases, Davao del Norte with 10,560, Davao del Sur with 4,637, Davao Occidental with 1,037 and Davao Oriental with 3,629. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)