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City to include other jabs in its anti-COVID vaccine drive

THE CITY Health Office (CHO) will roll out the expanded immunization program simultaneously with the anti-COVID Vaccination activities in far-flung barangays in a bid to avoid an outbreak of other diseases while grappling with the pandemic.

City Health Office chief Josephine Villafuerte . Bing Gonzales

Speaking on the Davao City Disaster Radio Wednesday morning, Vaccination Cluster head Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said that coordination meetings have been conducted for the simultaneous rollout of the immunization activities with the goal of increasing the anti-COVID vaccination coverage and, at the same time, catching up with the missed routine vaccinations.

“Nagsugod na ang meeting nato for reaching people labi na sa lagyo na lugar. Adtuon lang gyud sila. Naga-create mi og additional na vaccination team nga moadto didto dungan sa vaccination team para sa mga bata (We have started our meetings for reaching out to people, especially in far flung areas. We need to go there. We created an additional vaccination team that will go together with the vaccination team for the children),” Villafuerte said.

The routine immunization covers children 0 to 12 months old and 0-23 months for catch-up vaccination or those who missed their routine vaccinations for the prevention of polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), hepatitis B, influenza, pneumonia, and other diseases.

On the other hand, the anti-COVID vaccination will cover the 5-11 age group, 12-17 age group, and 18 years old and above.

According to Villafuerte, the 5-11 age group for the anti-COVID jabs will have a separate lane.

Villafuerte said that they need to do the expanded immunization program to prevent an outbreak of other diseases.

“Mahirap na magkaroon tayo ng outbreak ng measles nga naa pa gyud ta’y COVID mas dako ang problema nato (It will be difficult for us if we have measles outbreak and then we have COVID – that would be a big problem),” she said, adding, the barangay captains should also do an information drive on dengue prevention as it is also a potential health problem in this rainy season.

To accomplish a simultaneous vaccination drive, the CHO has already conducted barangay profiling to find out individuals who have not availed of the anti-COVID vaccination and those who are not yet immunized for other diseases.

Dr. Julinda Acosta, CHO technical division chief, told the City Information Office that the team for routine and catch-up immunization may utilize fixed post or stationary vaccination in health centers, barangay health stations, puroks. They may also opt for door-to-door vaccination. And this team solely handles the routine and catch-up vaccinations. The schedule depends on the district health offices.

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