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TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Eduard B. Tandingan is encouraging frontliners, specially the health workers, to take the COVID 19 vaccine once the provincial government starts the roll out anytime soon.
Amidst hesitation of some individuals in taking the jab, the newly appointed PHO said that the vaccination will be done voluntarily.
“Sapay kuma ta agpa bakuna da for this is the only way that we could protect an individual. All we have now are medical measures designed to stop the transmission. This is our only hope a “makasubli tayo iti kunkuna tayo a normal, a malpas kuma daytoyen a pandemya” he said.
Going back to normal he clarified would mean the population are more knowledgeable about the virus.
He relates that the government conducted studies to know the pulse of the people about the vaccination. Among the reasons why they are hesitant, he said, include the concern for safety and side effects, some believe that the risk of COVID 19 is not enough reason to be vaccinated, financial constraints, some thinks it is a waste of time. while others do not see the need.
“The vaccination principle will always be voluntary. But for those opting to have the vaccination on a later time, our health workers must determine the reasons why a person wanted to postpone,” he said. He further explained that some people might need to be clarified on some information.
“Our health workers need to explain because it would be unfair for our frontlines to postpone just because saan nga usto iti information a na-receive da, ket nu maited ti usto nga inpormasyon baka, they might eventually decide nga agpa-vacine” Tandingan said.
As recalled, the national government is giving priority to frontliners specially health workers due to the limited manufacturing of the vaccines.
“Ideally, all should be vaccinated, but the reality is that the supply would be coming in phases, so ibig sabihin hindi pwedeng sabay-sabay. So, we have to prioritize and start with the health workers at the frontline because they are considered as high risk, aside from ensuring that we have people looking after those who will get sick,” he clarified.
According to Tandingan vaccination is very important because the government wants to achieve herd immunity.
“Nu ad-adu ti mabakunahan, they will serve as a barrier between the susceptible and non- susceptible tapnu malapdan ji adu nga agsakit iti COVID. That is the purpose of why we need to vaccinate,” he said.
He further stated that the government is targeting to attain 70 percent coverage towards the end of the year for the country to attain herd immunity which is a big possibility. With the limited resources, the government could not do mass vaccination yet.
“If we could achieve more than 70 percent coverage, the higher the probability that we can attain herd immunity, so there is a call for local government units and the private sector to help, that if they could provide for additional vaccines then it would be much better,” he said.
However, the vaccines are not yet commercially available since procurement is only done through emergency use authorization.
“Only the government can procure the vaccines. But if LGUs are interested to increase vaccination coverage, they can make arrangement through tripartite agreement between the national government, manufacturer and concerned LGU to procure vaccines through the national government,” he said.
The private sector, he said, could also arrange with the national government or the LGU if the latter decides to procure for additional vaccines. He said that master listing will also be continuous based on the prioritization scheme as spelled out in the national vaccination deployment plan.
“I am encouraging all those prioritized that if it is your time to have the vaccine, mapan tayo kuma ta daytoy iti nayon ti protection aside from the wearing of the mask and washing of the hands. Daytoy panagbakuna isu ti pag-asa tayo nga agsardeng iti pandemya ,” the health official said. By GB Gacuya