Davao allows residents to choose anti-COVID vaccine brand

A medical worker extracts a dose of Pfizer vaccine during the vaccination rollout for senior citizens at the covered court of Brokenshire Hospital in Davao City on Thursday (20 May 2021. Mindanews Photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 January) – Dabawenyos may now get their preferred brand of anti-COVID-19 vaccine, a move that the city government hopes would encourage more individuals to get inoculated amid the surge in cases and the threat posed by the highly contagious Omicron variant.

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson for the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force, said in an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday that the local government admitted that people prefer certain brands of anti-COVID-19 vaccines.

Locals were previously discouraged from choosing a specific brand of vaccine, particularly that of US-made Cominarty of Pfizer-BioNTech and Spikevax of Moderna as supplies were limited then.

Schlosser said the city has supplies of Comirnaty, Spikevax, Coronavac of Sinovac, and Vaxzevria of Oxford AstraZeneca but assured that Mayor Sara Duterte is expediting the procurement of more supplies of vaccines.

“The mayor is fast-tracking the preferred brand of the people. Our councilors and mayor are right that people should be given the choice. There are people who have brand preference because they have probably studied it to see if this is better than the other. We are working on it,” she added.

She encouraged the public to get vaccinated to give themselves an additional layer of protection against severe symptoms of COVID-19.

She said vaccines are effective in preventing people from getting hospitalized due to the virus.

Schlosser emphasized that health authorities here are not anticipating the cases to go down anytime soon.

“We’re not confident the number will continue to go down. We have no control over the behavior of the people,” she said.

The city government reported that as of January 18, there were 1,276,123 individuals vaccinated with the first dose, 1,216,990 who were fully vaccinated, and 136,526 others had received booster shots.

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

The Department of Health-Davao reported 1,039 new infections in the city, bringing the total cases to 65,577 with 9,524 active, 54,225 recoveries, and 1,828 deaths. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)