GenSan worried over senior citizens’ reluctance on vaccines

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 5 Oct) – The city government has raised concern over the continuing reluctance by some senior citizens here to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Dr. Rochelle Oco, head of the City Health Office, acknowledged on Tuesday that they are facing problems with the vaccination coverage for priority group A2 or senior citizens even as they are considered as among the most vulnerable to severe infections.

She said such concern is also a challenge to other local government units as seen with the daily updating of inoculation accomplishment in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).

“[But] we’re really doing our best to capture all our vulnerable senior citizens and have them protected against COVID-19,” she said during the city council’s question hour.

The Department of Health (DOH)-Region 12 earlier cited misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine as among the reasons for the reluctance of some individuals to get inoculated, among them senior citizens.

Some people believe that getting the vaccine will only make them more vulnerable to severe infections and even death while others adhere to baseless claims that they could be used to track down people working for the “anti-Christ.”

In this city, Oco said a total of 14,698 senior citizens have already been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Oct. 1, about 41 percent of the over 35,000 target.

Some 14,187 others have received their first dose, mostly with Sinovac’s Coronavac and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

CHO has so far administered some 223,173 vaccine doses, with 98,318 already fully vaccinated and 124,855 others still waiting for their second doses.

Oco said they continually expand their daily vaccination coverage, currently at 3,000 to 3,500 per day, depending on the available vaccine supplies.

She said the vaccination activities are being conducted in the 12 rural health units (RHUs) and three mall-based mega sites.

The RHUs have daily targets of 200 to 300 individuals while the mega sites accommodate as much as 1,500.

“We already hired additional health workers to augment our local vaccine operations center teams to accommodate more individuals as more vaccines become available,” she said. (MindaNews)