22 health workers at vax hubs in Davao City test positive for COVID-19

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 Jan) – Some frontline health workers at the major drive-thru vaccination hubs in Davao City have been infected with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) just as the city ramps up efforts to immunize more people against the infection.

A senior citizen gets jabbed at a drive-thru vaccination center in Davao City’s People’s Park. Photo courtesy of Davao City government

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson for the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force, told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday that the local government recorded 22 personnel assigned at the drive-thru vaccination hubs at People’s Park and at Davao Crocodile Park have been put in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

She said the close contacts of the COVID-positive workers have been put in quarantine.

Schlosser added that the transmission among the personnel did not hamper the operations of the vaccination sites as the city hopes to increase the vaccination coverage, saying “time is of the essence” amid the threat of the Omicron variant.

“To be honest, yes, we are affected. The public deserves to know. We have already foreseen this in a surge that our health workers in vaccination sites would be affected. But we have a backup plan, which is to replace the manpower affected at the vaccination hubs,” she said.

She told the public not to worry about getting vaccinated as the local authorities ensured that the substitute health workers are cleared of the infection after having undergone the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

She said the course of action of the local government when vaccinators test positive for COVID-19 is not to close any affected vaccination hub but to replace personnel who would turn out positive and isolate their contacts who manifest symptoms.

“We are doing that and we will be doing that in case there will be more vaccination hubs contaminated. We continue to encourage the public to get vaccinated and get booster shots. We are trying to beat the time because when it comes to COVID-19, time really matters,” Schlosser added.

According to the city government website, the city has 25 operational vaccination sites as of January 15.

The city government reported 1,268,468 individuals vaccinated with the first dose and 1,207,885 fully vaccinated.

Also, the city reported 121,050 individuals who received the booster shots.

As of January 18, the Department of Health (DOH)-Davao reported 354 new cases, bringing the total cases to 56,783 with 2,636 active, 52,46 recovered, and 1,801 deaths. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)