Dabawenyos given free choice what vax brand to get

DAVAO CITY – Dabawenyos are now given the choice what brand of anti-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) they could get in an attempt to encourage more individuals to get inoculated as the number of cases here rapidly rises amid the threat of the fastest-spreading Omicron variant.

Dr. Michelle Schlosser, spokesperson for the Davao City COVID-19 Task Force, said, in an interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) on Wednesday that the local government admitted people have preference over certain brands of anti-COVID-19 vaccines.

Locals were previously discouraged from choosing a specific brand of vaccine, particularly that of US-made Cominarty of Pfizer-BioNTech and Spikevax of Moderna as supplies were limited then.

She said the city has supply of Comirnaty, Spikevax, Coronavac of Sinovac, and Vaxzevria of Oxford AstraZeneca but assured the Mayor Sara Duterte is expediting the procurement of more supplies of vaccines.

“The mayor is fast-tracking the preferred brand of the people. Our councilors and mayor are right that people should be given the choice. There are people who have brand preference because they have probably studied it to see if this is better than the other. We are working on it,” she added.

She encouraged the public to get vaccinated to give themselves an additional layer of protection against severe symptoms of COVID-19.

She said vaccines are effective against hospitalization.

Schlosser added that health authorities here are not anticipating cases would go down anytime soon.

“We’re not confident the number will continue to go down. We have no control over the behavior of the people,” she said.

The City Government of Davao reported that as of January 18, there are 1,276,123 individuals vaccinated with the first dose, 1,216,990 fully vaccinated, and 136,526 boosted.

According to the city government website, the city has 25 operational vaccination sites as of January 15.

The Department of Health-Davao reported 1,039 new cases in the city, bringing the total cases to 65,577 with 9,524 active, 54,225 recovered, and 1,828 dead.