Parents in Zamboanga City urged to get their kids vaccinated

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 11 November) — Three educators on Thursday urged parents here to send their children to vaccination centers as the City Health Office began the walk-in COVID-19 inoculation for children aged 12-17 years old without comorbidities.

Sarah Handang, a division supervisor of the Department of Education said that parents, particularly those in barangays with high a number of cases should bring their children for vaccination to the nearest health center or designated vaccination area.

College and senior high school students from various schools in Zamboanga City attend a journalism seminar organized by MindaNews on 11 February 2019. MindaNews file photo by H. MARCOS C. MORDENO

“We are all in this together. Teachers are really putting their lives in danger just to be able to serve in giving out modules, going to school even when the school has suspended its activities,” Handang said, as she recounted her agony as she and her family went through COVID-19 at a time when there was no oxygen in local hospitals and hospital beds were full.

Leah Panaguiton, a college professor at the Ateneo de Zamboanga University encouraged her students to get vaccinated with the likelihood of the resumption of face-to-face classes next school year.

Panaguiton’s family has just overcome several days of difficulty after her mother, a senior citizen, contracted the virus last month, “losing her sense of smell and taste, being weak, with cognitive functions affected” even if she has been fully vaccinated.

“It was the longest 11 days for my siblings and me by far,” although “assured by the doctors and nurses who cared for her that she would get through because she was fully vaccinated.”

“The agony is incomparable, as other members of the family are not around, not taking care of their needs, running the errands, and helping us find cheaper medicines,” Panaguiton said.

“Facebook messenger’s conference voice and video calls were extremely helpful in getting real-time updates and planning for our course of action,” she said.

“To those who are still unvaccinated, I urge you to get inoculated. It will protect you from the severe effects of the virus,” she added.

Values teacher Myrna Dinapo of Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School said that since face-to-face learning is inevitable, students should get vaccinated to counter infection as advised by medical personnel.

City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite announced that vaccination of teens with comorbidities in five designated areas began on November 8, while the walk-in vaccination of teens without comorbidities began on November 10.

Vaccination of the rest of the adult population started on Thursday, in Jollibee Sta. Cruz and McDonald’s in Guiwan, Zamboanga City.

CHO reported that a total of 503,934 doses of vaccines have been administered in Zamboanga City as of November 8. Of the total number, 306, 114 were first doses while 197,809 were second doses.

The figures mean that 44 percent of the target eligible population are partially vaccinated and 28 percent are fully vaccinated. (Frencie Carreon/MindaNews)