City steps up information drive on anti-COVID vaccination

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Local health authorities will step up the needed information education campaign to convince residents to avail of the anti-Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) that will be arriving in the city anytime.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo disclosed there is a need to increase the acceptability of the anti-COVID vaccine to at least 90 percent when the vaccine will arrive in the city so that there will be no significant spoilage once the vaccine will be rolled out.

She claimed that based on their survey among the city’s health workers, 75 percent of them are willing to be vaccinated while the 25 percent are still hesitant to be vaccinated because of alleged conflicting reports on the efficacy of the vaccines that will be delivered in the country.

Further, the city health officer also cited the recent results of the random survey that was conducted by the Smoke Free Task Force on the acceptability of the vaccine where only 65 percent of the first 1,000 responders agreed to be vaccinated.

Earlier, the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) announced that based on their own survey of the law enforcers, some 70 percent of the local uniformed and non-uniformed personnel agreed to take the vaccine once it arrives in the city while the 30 percent of the police force are still hesitant to be vaccinated because of the issues that are being raised against the vaccines that will be procured by the government.

Galpo admitted that the health workers and the members of the barangay health emergency response teams (BHERTs) will be mobilized to assist the local government in informing and educating the residents on the importance of being vaccinated to achieve the required herd immunity that will pave the way for the gradual shift of the prevailing various levels of community quarantine to the new normal.

Of the city’s total population of over 378,000 based on the data made available by the City Planning and Development Office, there are more than 239,000 individuals that comprise the adult population of 18 years and above.

According to her, based on the required 80 percent herd immunity, the number of residents that should be vaccinated is over 190,000 where the priority sectors will be the frontliners, particularly health workers in the different public and private health facilities that are directly involved in the management and treatment of COVID patients.

Galpo stipulated the city will have to work on the proper messaging to convince residents to avail of the vaccines once it will arrive in the city so that the vaccines that will be procured will be maximized to achieve the required herd immunity.

Initially, the city was able to organize some 42 vaccination teams that will be actively involved in the roll out of the city’s vaccination program although the local government is still engaging more volunteers to achieve the desired number of 85 vaccination teams to aggressively cascade the mass vaccination program in the city’s 128 barangays.

She said that the members of the vaccination teams were able to complete the required trainings and they are now awaiting their deployment once the vaccines will arrive in the city anytime for the roll out of the mass vaccination program. By Dexter A. See

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