Lucena mayor, officials get 1st COVID-19 shots
LUCENA CITY –– City Mayor Roderick Alcala, along with some local officials, received their first dose of a vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Tuesday morning.
The city public information office posted on its Facebook page a photo of Alcala while being injected with the AstraZeneca vaccine at the city health office.
In a phone interview, Alcala clarified that the vaccines were leftovers from the 500 doses donated from the national government for local frontliners, such as city health workers, barangay health emergency response teams, and barangay health aides.
“Instead of returning the vaccines to the donors, we were permitted to use the vaccine on local officials,” Alcala explained.
On March 18, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines, announced that the national Inter-Agency Task Force classified local officials as among the priorities for vaccination.
Alcala said he wanted to show the residents that the vaccine is safe protection in the battle against the virus.
He assured the residents that the local government has been exerting all efforts to purchase the vaccines for all qualified local recipients.
The city government has allotted P350 million for COVID-19 vaccines and aims to administer these to at least 70 percent of the city population to achieve herd immunity.
“The money is ready. We’re just waiting for the go-signal from the national government,” he said.
Aside from Alcala, some barangay officials were also injected with the vaccine.
Meanwhile, with the rising COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, Alcala said the local authorities have been seriously studying the possible termination of the public transportation plying the Lucena-Biñan, Laguna route.
“Once the local COVID-19 cases reach an alarming figure, we will not hesitate to stop the bus operation,” he said.
“We have to protect our gains in this war against COVID-19. We have to prevent the entry of virus carriers, particularly from Metro Manila,” Alcala added.
As of 10 a.m. on March 23, Lucena still has 26 active virus carriers.
The Inter-Agency Task Force placed the National Capital Region and Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna under the stricter general community quarantine from March 22 until April 4.
The measure was adopted due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
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