South Cotabato wants vaccination for economic workers

Individuals belonging to the A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (people with co-morbidity) COVID-19 vaccination priority list wait for their turn to get the vaccine on 23 June 2021 at a mall in Koronadal City. MindaNews file photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 09 August) – The provincial government of South Cotabato is planning to expand in the coming days the ongoing mass vaccination against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to workers in key economic hubs in the area.

South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. said Monday he will meet with health officials and concerned stakeholders in the province within the week to discuss the necessary strategies for the expansion of the vaccination rollout.

He said the move is aimed to further fast-track the inoculation of eligible residents amid the threats posed by the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

“We will prioritize those working in the centers of economic activities like the public markets,” the governor said in his radio program “Ang Gobernador Kag Ang Katawhan.”

By inoculating workers in the economic hubs, he said the spread of the virus would be minimized and residents coming in from the barangays and other areas in the province will be protected.

Tamayo said they will strategize the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine supplies to maximize their utilization and ensure that these will be given properly to the target areas and eligible individuals.

The inoculation activities in the province are still concentrated on priority groups A1 (frontline healthcare workers), A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidities), but there are already over 700 vaccinated individuals under A4 (essential workers).

The governor said some 122,758 vaccines have been administered as of the weekend in the province’s 10 towns and lone city, with 60,728 listed as fully vaccinated and 62,000 already with their first dose and waiting for their second shots.

He said such accomplishment so far covers about 15 percent of the area’s 70 percent population protection target.

The province has a total population of 975,476 based on the 2020 census, placing its vaccination target at 770,626.

Tamayo said they expect that more vaccines will be delivered in the province in the coming months, especially between September and October, as committed by the Department of Health and the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

He said the vaccination activities in the province have been faster when compared to other areas as the number of people who are willing to be inoculated has been increasing.

“Majority of our people now understand the importance of the vaccines in ensuring their protection against COVID-19,” he said. (MindaNews)