The target to achieve herd immunity through a nationwide ramped-up coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccination process may hit a snag with the failure to deliver the adequate number of syringes in some provinces.
In a news briefing on Saturday, Nov. 13, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) president and Quirino Gov. Dakila Cua confirmed that only the vaccines and not the partner syringe were delivered to at least one region.
He noted that there was no prior notice that the concerned local government units (LGUs) will have to procure the syringes to complement the delivered vaccines.
In any case, Cua stressed that there should be closer coordination between the Department of health (DOH) and the LGUs to avoid these incidents.
If the adequate syringes were delivered, Cua assured that the LGUs will be able to immediately administer the COVID-19 vaccines to the desired population of their respective turfs.
Describing it as just a “pocket of management’’, Cua said that the national government can inform the concerned LGUs to purchase the syringe in advance.
Earlier, Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez insisted that the LGUs should be creative to address some lack of medical supply issues.
Stressing that the lack of medical supply woes should be a “learning experience’’, Cua stressed that the LGUs should have stocks of syringes on stand-by even if the national government guaranteed their delivery with the vaccines to ensure the continuity of the vaccination.
The ULAP chief also admitted that another obstacle in attaining maximum vaccination are vaccine hesitancy and vaccine brand preference.
He noted that the provinces observed that if the total vaccination rate reaches between 40 to 50 percent the demand for inoculation starts to wane with people losing interest to gain protection from the virus.
Cua has pushed for the need to boost the vaccination campaign through incentives or disincentives whether in the form of policies, privileges or actual items, services or programs.
In some provinces, Cua revealed that fully vaccinated individuals are allowed outdoors with the senior citizens provided with other privileges.
Some activities for the unvaccinated persons may be restricted or they may need to show negative COVID-19 test results which some LGUs are enforcing.
Cua added that some LGUs are enticing their constituents with raffles with prizes like cellular phones or livelihood programs if they get inoculated.
“Huling panawagan sa ating kapatid sa religious sector, sa simbahan, ibat ibang religious organization na sana tulungan ang ating gobyerno sa kampanya sa pagbabakuna (A last call to our brothers in the religious sector, church, various religious organizations to please help our government in its vaccination campaign),’’ Cua said.
Quoting the President, said that “if we are not protected, none of us are protected’’ that is why the target is to reach herd immunity. (Chito A. Chavez)