Davao City to relocate COVID-19 vaccination hubs

Hundreds flock to a vaccination hub at People’s Park in Davao City on Wednesday (5 January 2022) for booster shots as health officials are alarmed with the increase in COVID-19 cases just after the holidays and with the threat posed by the Omicron variant. MindaNews Photo

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 June) – The City Government of Davao plans to shut down all existing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination hubs more than a year after doing a massive inoculation drive against the highly infectious virus, a local health official said Wednesday.

Dr. Michele Schlosser, Davao City COVID-19 Task Force spokesperson, told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that the city’s vaccination cluster has created a team to devise a plan for the transfer of the vaccination program from the existing hubs to the new locations that are more convenient and accessible to the locals.

She added that authorities have initially discussed placing the vaccination program under the care of either the 18 health districts or the 182 barangay health centers.

According to the City Information Office, the city has 12 public vaccination hubs – nine in different malls, two inside parks and one in Calinan Elementary School.

She said the vaccination cluster has yet to finalize the date for the transfer of the venues.

“Whether they will be transferred to the district health offices or barangay health centers, there is no final decision yet. We’re hoping the transition team or the vaccination cluster will come up with a decision within the week,” she said.

She said the door-to-door and mobile vaccination programs will remain to reach out to more individuals.

She said workers in business process outsourcing, banks and government offices are prioritized for mobile vaccination, but added that they hope to tap restaurant owners to increase the coverage of the vaccination drive among the local workforce.

Last Monday, outgoing Mayor Sara Duterte said during an interview over DCDR 87.5 that she instructed the local COVID-19 Task Force to fold up the existing vaccination hubs and transfer it to “semi-permanent” locations in health centers.

“That was my instruction, to take down the vaccination hubs and transfer everything to available health centers,” she said.

She said it may take more than a week to complete the transfer, considering health centers will need to prepare to handle the vaccination.

As of June 10, there were 1,336,961 individuals vaccinated with the first dose, of whom 1,318 are fully vaccinated.

The city also reported 269,057 individuals who received the first booster dose and 20,828 who were administered with the second booster dose.

Schlosser urged the public to get vaccinated, particularly the senior citizens and immunocompromised, to get themselves protected against the virus and the severity of the disease.

She said people should continue to adhere to minimum public health standards such as wearing of face masks and hand hygiene as the threat of COVID-19 continues even as the city remains under Alert Level 1 status. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)