The Muntinlupa City government is stepping up its campaign to encourage residents to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
It launched a series of COVID-19 Vaccine Virtual Town Hall Meeting with health professionals from national government agencies.
At least 100 participants from homeowners associations and urban poor groups attended the first meeting done in partnership with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In the latest results of the city government’s survey on COVID-19 vaccine, 2,567 out of 4,074 respondents, or 63 percent, said they were willing to be vaccinated while 788, or 19.34 percent, said “no” and 719, or 17.65 percent, did not answer and were classified as “unaccounted.”
Of those who said “no,” the No. 1 reason was “side effects that may be experienced,” followed by “doubtful with the efficiency rate of the vaccine,” “fee of vaccination” and “conflict with current health conditions.”
During the virtual meeting, RITM Infection Prevention and Control Committee Chair Charissa Borja-Tabora emphasized the safety of vaccines, the process of clinical trials, and the role of vaccines in protecting individuals and communities.
Jesusa Joyce Cirunay of the FDA Center for Drugs Regulation and Research also discussed the agency’s Emergency Use Authorization and the stringent process and policies for the approval of vaccines.
Muntinlupa Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said the initiative is part of the local government’s campaign to enable, inform, and motivate high priority groups to get the vaccine.
“We will conduct a series of dialogues with individuals and communities to help them understand the value of vaccines so more Muntinlupeños will be convinced to be inoculated,” Navarro said.
Mayor Jaime Fresnedi had earlier announced that the city will allot P200 million, up from P170 million, for the city’s vaccination rollout.
Muntinlupa has ordered 400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca to augment the supply that will be given by the national government.
For the AstraZeneca vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) said “the recommended dosage is two doses given intramuscularly (0.5ml each) with an interval of 8 to 12 weeks. Longer dose intervals within the 8 to 12 weeks range are associated with greater vaccine efficacy.”
Muntinlupa’s COVID-19 vaccination plan and other best practices on public health were commended by officials from the Department of Health during the assessment visit of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 and Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team in the city last Feb. 5.
Under Muntinlupa’s COVID-19 vaccination plan, there will be 82 vaccination teams to be deployed in 35 vaccination posts and 8,200 target individuals will be vaccinated per day.
As of Feb. 11, Muntinlupa has 62 active cases out of 5,465 confirmed cases which include 5,231 recoveries and 172 deaths.