More vaccination teams eyed in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 10 August) – The city government is planning to form additional vaccination teams to further fast-track the ongoing rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the area.

City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said they are coordinating with concerned agencies and the private sector to help provide the needed manpower for the expansion of the vaccination sites.

PRIORITY. In this file photo, a physician gets inoculated as among the first batch of healthcare frontliners who received their first jab at a government-run hospital in General Santos City. Dr. April Mae Maquilang, local immunization coordinator, said that as of 19 July 2021, 13,652 healthcare frontliners have completed the two doses of the vaccine while 32,578 have yet to get their second dose. MindaNews photo by ROMMEL G. REBOLLIDO

He said they are targeting to deploy three vaccination teams “at the minimum” in the coming days in each of the city’s 26 barangays.

The mayor said the move is part of their continuing efforts to bring the COVID-19 vaccines nearer to local residents.

“Our main challenge for that is coming up with enough vaccinators. We’ve been coping with our current capacity but we need to put up more teams so we can expand our vaccination coverage,” he told reporters.

Rivera said forming the vaccination teams is not easy as they cannot just hire anybody to administer the vaccines.

He said they need experienced nurses to ensure the smooth vaccination and the monitoring of the possible adverse effects of the vaccines.

Rivera said the city government is currently working on increasing its inoculation coverage to 5,000 individuals per day through the existing vaccination sites.

These include the mega facilities situated at the Robinsons, KCC Veranza and SM malls, and in the city’s rural health units, he said.

He said they are also considering the establishment of “drive-through” or mobile vaccination sites in parts of the city.

“As of the moment, we are inoculating almost 5,000 individuals per day and almost nearing that target. But that’s not enough. If we can reach 10,000 per day then we will target that,” Rivera said.

A report released on Monday afternoon by the city government showed that a total of 87,228 vaccine doses have been administered in the area as of Aug. 6 to individuals under priority groups A1 (front-line health workers), A1.8 (outbound overseas workers), A2 (senior citizens), A3 (persons with comorbidities), and A4 (essential workers).

Some 34,961 persons were already fully vaccinated while 52,267 have received their first dose and are awaiting their second or booster shots. (MindaNews)