Lack of vaccines from national gov't hampering Pateros' first dose jabs

Published July 26, 2021, 3:00 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

The Pateros municipal government said it cannot administer the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine due to lack of new supply from the national government.

In a live broadcast Sunday, Mayor Miguel “Ike” Ponce III apologized for the delay in the vaccination of people with the first dose.

The AMC Gym vaccination site in Pateros (Pateros municipal government)

“I apologize because we have not received new vaccines although I have received advice from the national government that maybe this week, we can receive new supply and I will announce it immediately,” he said.

What is available right now in Pateros are the Johnson & Johnson’s single shot Janssen vaccines but these are for the exclusive use of senior citizens. Second dose vaccination is ongoing.

Despite this, Ponce said Pateros’ vaccination program has produced good results. As of July 24, 39,489 individuals have already received their first dose, equivalent to 80.59 percent of the target population of 49,000.

On the other hand, 23,670 individuals are now fully vaccinated, or 48.31 percent of the target population.

“The reason why we stopped is because we do not have the vaccines that can be used for the first dose,” said the mayor, adding that he was assured by Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. and Sec. Vince Dizon that more vaccines will arrive in the country.

He lamented that many senior citizens in Pateros have not availed of the free vaccination program of the government. He encouraged them to go to vaccination sites even via walk-in to get the Janssen jab.

There are many of those belonging to the A4 (essential workers) and A5 (poor population) who want to get the shots but cannot be vaccinated due to the exclusive use of the Janssen vaccines for seniors.

Ponce said the number of daily active in Pateros has increased to 40 from the previous averages of 13 to 15.

“We are seeing an increase, which is why we are afraid,” he said.

As of July 23, Pateros has 40 active COVID-19 cases out of 4,772 total confirmed cases, 4,665 recoveries, and 67 deaths.

The mayor urged the people to follow health protocols amid the threat of the highly contagious Delta variant.