Davao City to give incentives to those getting COVID-19 jabs

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 September) – The City Government of Davao will incentivize the vaccination program to encourage more people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Mayor Sara Duterte said Monday.

This after the local government expressed concerns over the pace of the vaccination with more people refusing to get inoculated, which widens the gap between the actual number of vaccinated population and the target of 1.2 million to reach “herd immunity.” As of 2020, the city’s population stood at 1,825,450.

Duterte told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that the actual number of people who received the first dose so far reached 716,793, or 59.73 percent of the target of the local government to attain herd immunity.

A lady takes a photo of her companion who is receiving a dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the University of Southeastern Philippines Gym in Davao City on Monday, 27 September 2021. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

She said the incentives will be provided only to people who have yet to receive the first dose.

According to her, 483,207 individuals still need to be vaccinated with the first dose.

“This is the segment of the population who will not go to the vaccination centers, who do not believe in the vaccines, and the people who are daily wage earners. What is more important to them is to be able to work than to get vaccinated,” she said.

She said preparations have been laid down already on how to execute the incentives program, which includes distribution of gift checks to address their concerns on providing food for the family. However, she did not specify the amount of the gift check that will be given to each.

“It’s understandable that we need to incentivize the vaccination because what is more important for them is their daily sustenance. Our incentives will be directed on that – food,” she said.

She added that the local government will also strengthen the mobile vaccination to be able to reach the population who cannot go the vaccination sites.

She said the vaccination cluster has a list of the barangays with low vaccination turnout.

Last September 20, Duterte asked the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to stop sending CoronaVac and Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines from China to this city due to the “low acceptability of the people” for these brands of anti-COVID-19 vaccines produced by China.

She told the national government to focus on procuring more US-made Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty.

As of Sunday, the Department of Health-Davao reported a total of 48,821 total cases with 9,241 active, 38,090 recovered and 1,490 deaths. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)