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Oldest Davaoeños get their vaccine




TWO ELDERLY elderly Davaoeños did not hesitate to take the anti-COVID-19 vaccine, setting an example despite the lingering concerns regarding its safety.

At 103 years old, Genoveva Yuson Lanutan of Bangkal was the oldest vaccinee in the city. Not to be outdone, 99-year-old Tomasa Pedrido, a resident of Calinan, also got his vaccine. At their age, the two elderlies are most vulnerable to the virus infection.

Mama Bebang, as what her children call her, was accompanied by her daughter Patrona Bautista at the A. Mabini Elementary School vaccination hub on May 19.

Bautista said that her Mama Bebang was so excited to receive the vaccine after knowing that her sibling, who is also a senior, already received the vaccine.

Mama Bebang and Bautista both received the first dose of the AstraZeneca. They are scheduled for the second dose two months after. Her eldest daughter, Annie Lanutan Laburada, said that her mother underwent laparoscopy, or gallstone surgery, at the age of 97.

The 103-year-old vaccinee has urged her fellow seniors to get vaccinated from COVID-19.

“Gi-awhag ko ang uban nga magpabakuna sila aron dili sila matakdan sa sakit (I am urging others to get vaccinated so they will not get infected with the disease),” Mama Bebang said.

Meanwhile, 99-year-old Tomasa waited for her turn to get the first dose of the Sinovac’s Coronavac vaccine at the Calinan Elementary School on May 12.

Together with her 67-year-old daughter Helen, Tomasa was the oldest known COVID-19 vaccine recipient since Davao City’s rollout of the vaccination for the elderly people. Helen also received her first jab.

“Whatever they got, they are all effective,” Tomasa said when asked about her preferred vaccine.

Helen, a retired nurse, said her mother is well informed about the coronavirus disease. Helen added that her mother has decided for herself to get vaccinated. “She is more than willing and is fine with whatever vaccines available for her,” she said.

“She is okay. She has no complaints so far,” Helen said. Both Tomasa and Helen went home feeling well and satisfied after their first jab. Tomasa and Helen are among the targetted elderly group to receive the vaccine.

Across Davao City, local authorities have set up vaccination sites as part of the intervention program of the city against coronavirus disease. While the government is still working on procuring more vaccine doses to inoculate a majority of the population, some people are wary of the efficacy and possible side effects of the vaccines.

Some have shunned the thought of getting vaccinated. But not Tomasa. “She knew that vaccination would help her for treatment,” said Helen.

At her age, Tomasa has maintained good health and leading a life without vices.

“She is an elderly, a vulnerable member, the most she needs is a vaccine,” Helen said.

Helen urged fellow seniors to have themselves vaccinated to outweigh the risks of COVID-19.

“I am encouraging [seniors] to get vaccinated as long as there are no contraindications like severe allergy to any kind, anyway they will be assessed by the doctor if they are okay or not,” Helen said.

Amid the conflicting information about vaccines, Helen said, “Try not to decide for yourself out of fear, consult a proper person who can help you decide the right way.”

As of May 24, a total of 35,944 or 40.84 percent of the 88,000 targeted eligible population of the priority group A2 or senior citizens have received their first dose. Currently, over 78,600 residents have received their COVID-19 vaccines since the city government started rolling out the vaccination program in March.

As of May 25, the city has received a total of 95,275 doses of COVID-19 vaccines since March this year.

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