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Mobile vaxx teams seen as way to accelerate jab rates

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @CeBacligINQ
/ 06:02 PM January 13, 2022

Artwork by Daniella Marie Agacer

MANILA, Philippines — As the country’s COVID-19 cases continue to increase amid the threat of the highly contagious Omicron variant, the government continued to try to administer vaccines to more people, especially in Metro Manila which is considered to be ground zero of the surge.

In efforts to accelerate vaccination rates, many local government units in the metropolis have resorted to easing vaccination procedures, setting up more vaccination sites, allowing non-residents to get vaccinated and opening drive-through facilities.

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But a health sector party-list group said the more effective solution would be to bring the vaccination to the people and not the other way around.

Mobile booster teams

In a statement, Anakalusugan Rep. Michael Defensor proposed that local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila should deploy mobile teams to vaccinate more people in the capital following a post-holiday season spike in coronavirus infections and the threat of Omicron, a more highly contagious variant of the virus that causes COVID-19.

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According to Defensor, bringing vaccination, especially booster shot services, to more people could help “overcome the tsunami of infections” and prevent an increase in hospitalization rates and deaths.

“We would urge local governments to position transportable booster clinics around public markets, where both vendors and consumers are at high infection risk,” he said.

“In the case of our vendors, they have to eke out a living every day and are being discouraged from getting their boosters because of poor access,” he added.

The mobile booster services, Defensor explained, should also target areas with low vaccination rates and neighborhoods and worksites which have been previously hit by COVID outbreaks.

“If necessary, barangay officials should conduct door-to-door campaigns, draw up a list up of booster-eligible individuals, and then bring in mobile jab teams where needed,” he continued.

Intensified vax campaign

Some Metro Manila mayors have recently announced solutions to vaccinate more of their constituents as the region has been declared to be at critical risk for COVID.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, as of Jan. 5, Metro Manila had the highest COVID two-week growth rate (TWGR) at 1,475 percent and an average daily attack rate (ADAR) of 8.79.

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READ: Metro Manila now at ‘critical risk’ for COVID-19 transmission – Duque

To cover more residents in the ongoing vaccination drive against the new wave of COVID-19 pandemic, the Quezon City LGU has put up 83 vaccination areas in six districts—which aims to vaccinate the individuals and administer booster shots for eligible recipients.

These newly-set up sites include 36 regular vaccination sites, 21 special or pop-up sites, and 16 malls or establishments. House-to-house vaccination for bedridden citizens is also offered by the city government.

“We will be actively looking for those who are still unvaccinated and encourage them to get their COVID-19 vaccine shots immediately so they can acquire protection against the virus, which has been raging again since the latter part of last month,” said Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte.

“This is on top of our duty to assist COVID-19-confirmed persons by treating them in our Hope facilities or through our home care program,  and to trace close-contact individuals,” she added.

READ: Quezon City activates 83 vaccination areas in intensified campaign–Mayor Belmonte

Makati City Mayor Abby Binay also announced last week that the city government has begun accepting walk-ins for individuals who want to get booster shots.

Interested individuals who have already had their full doses of the COVID vaccine in other cities or municipalities must first register online before getting their booster shot in Makati City.

“You just have to register in the portal since we don’t have your record. So you register online first, and then after that, you can walk in. Or if you did not register online, you will have to register on site,” said Binay.

READ: Makati now accepts nonresidents who want to get booster shot vs COVID-19

In Manila, Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso has ordered the city’s Department of Engineering and Public Works to prepare a schedule for on-site booster vaccination for construction workers employed in all ongoing projects of the city government.

READ: Isko Moreno orders on-site booster vaccination for construction workers in Manila’s ongoing projects

READ: Manila LGU to start giving booster shots via drive-thru to owners of 4-wheel vehicles

The city government has also recently begun its drive-thru booster shot services for car owners.

Vaccine progress

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Benhur Abalos reported last week that as of Jan. 4, at least 10.4 million individuals—or 106 percent of Metro Manila’s population protection target—have already received their full vaccine doses.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

Abalos said 11,147,904 individuals—or 113.75 percent—have received their first dose, while 727,897 individuals out of the target 763,986 have received their booster shots.

READ: 106% of NCR’s population protection target now fully vaxxed vs COVID

According to data from the National COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard—by the Department of Health (DOH), Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF)—the government has administered a total of 115,303,412 doses from March 1, 2021 to Jan. 11, 2022.

There were 58,058,007 individuals nationwide who have been inoculated with their first dose of the vaccine, while 53,389,481 individuals were already fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

At least 3,855,924 individuals have already received their booster shots.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

More COVID-19 infections

The DOH reported that as of Jan. 12, the total COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 3,058,634, with 32,246 new cases recorded and 208,164 total active cases.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

There were also a total of 2,797,816 individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, while 52,654 individuals have died.

In Metro Manila, some LGUs have recorded thousands of active cases among residents.

City of Manila as of Jan. 12

  • Total confirmed cases: 97,209
  • Active cases: 3,128
  • Recoveries: 92,294
  • Deaths: 1,787

Source: Manila Public Information Office, Manila Health Department, Manila Emergency Operations Center

Quezon City as of Jan. 12

  • Total number of validated cases: 213,845
  • Suspect COVID-19 case among contact traced: 474,919
  • Active cases: 31,479
  • Recoveries: 180,734
  • Deaths: 1,632

Source: QC Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, Quezon City Health Department

Caloocan City as of Jan. 10

  • Total confirmed cases: 63,906
  • Active cases: 1,068
  • Recoveries: 61,192
  • Deaths: 1,646

Source: Caloocan City Health Department and City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit

Las Piñas as of Jan. 12

  • Total confirmed cases: 40,978
  • Active cases: 4,826
  • Recoveries: 35,741
  • Deaths: 411

Source: Department of Health

Makati City as of Jan. 12

  • Total confirmed cases: 46,375
  • Active cases: 998
  • Recoveries: 44,388
  • Deaths: 989
  • Probable COVID-19 cases: 59
  • Suspect COVID-19 cases: 524
  • Persons under monitoring (PUM): 931

Source: Makati Health Department

Malabon as of Jan. 12

  • Total confirmed cases: 22,999
  • Active cases: 1,490
  • Recoveries: 20,839
  • Deaths: 670

Source: Malabon City Health Department

Mandaluyong as of Jan. 12

  • Total confirmed cases: 28,848
  • Active cases: 1,690
  • Recoveries: 26,579
  • Deaths: 579
  • Suspect COVID-19 cases: 19,078
  • Cleared suspect cases: 527,701

Source: Mandaluyong City Health Department

Marikina as of Jan. 7

  • Total confirmed cases: 27,239
  • Active cases: 1,116
  • Recoveries: 25,455
  • Deaths: 668

Source: Marikina Public Information Office

Muntinlupa as of Jan. 12

  • Total confirmed cases: 30,381
  • Active cases: 2,447
  • Recoveries: 27,349
  • Deaths: 585
  • Probable COVID-19 cases: 524

Source: City Government of Muntinlupa

Navotas as of Jan. 11

  • Total confirmed cases: 19,205
  • Active cases: 1,213
  • Recoveries: 17,420
  • Deaths: 572

Source: Mayor Toby Tiangco

Parañaque as of Jan. 12

  • Total confirmed cases: 40,314
  • Active cases: 1,773
  • Recoveries: 37,789
  • Deaths: 752

Source: Department of Health, Parañaque City Health Office and Parañaque City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit

Pasay as of Jan. 12

  • Total confirmed cases: 25,755
  • Active cases: 3,268
  • Recoveries: 21,928
  • Deaths: 559

Source: Pasay City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit

Pasig as of Jan. 11

  • Total confirmed cases: 63,309
  • Active cases: 3,246
  • Recoveries: 58,590
  • Deaths: 1,473

Source: Department of Health, Pasig City Public Information Office

San Juan as of Jan. 10

  • Total confirmed cases: 17,212
  • Active cases: 1,306
  • Recoveries: 15,567
  • Deaths: 339
  • Suspect cases: 586
  • Probable cases: 18

Source: Mayor Francis Zamora, City Health Office

Taguig as of Jan. 12

  • Total confirmed cases: 53,729
  • Active cases: 681
  • Recoveries: 52,607
  • Deaths: 441

Source: Deaprtment of Health, Taguig City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit

Valenzuela as of Jan. 12

  • Total confirmed cases: 39,640
  • Active cases: 3,343
  • Recoveries: 35,443
  • Deaths: 854

Source: City Health Office, City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit

Pateros as of Jan. 11

  • Total confirmed cases: 8,389
  • Active cases: 393
  • Recoveries: 7,889
  • Deaths: 107
  • Under isolation: 387
  • For isolation: 6

Source: Pateros Health Department

RELATED STORY: 3rd vaccine dose: Boosting immunity and costs in PH

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