DOH boosts COVID-19 vax drive in remote Quezon areas
LUCENA CITY––The Department of Health (DOH) has been conducting intensified COVID-19 vaccination drive in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) in Quezon province.
“To increase public awareness on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines and the completion of primary doses and booster vaccination in Quezon province GIDAs, we intensify our community engagements and interpersonal communication in coordination with the respective local government units of vaccinated influencers in their community,” said Dr. Ariel Valencia, DOH-Calabarzon director, in a May 24 statement.
He emphasized the “urgent need” to reach out to the individuals who had not yet received the COVID-19 vaccines living in far-flung areas and address their concerns on vaccine access and safety.
Valencia cited the “perceived fear of immunization adverse events, cultural and religious background, and common misconceptions about the inoculation program as reasons people living in GIDAs are skeptical about accepting the COVID-19 vaccines.”
Valencia stressed that the government has to reach out to people in GIDAs to provide education about the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
The DOH said Quezon has 143 barangays located in remote locations and classified as GIDAs.
The DOH had deployed teams to isolated areas in the province, particularly in Macalelon, Unisan, General Nakar, and Infanta towns for the information dissemination, mobile vaccinations, and community briefing.
As of May 23, the Regional Vaccinations Operations Center (RVOC) reported that Quezon, excluding its provincial capital Lucena City, logged 1,010,841 (62 percent) coverage of fully vaccinated individuals.
As of Tuesday, May 24, Quezon had five remaining active COVID-19 cases, the latest data from the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) showed.
The province has recorded 32,872 COVID-19 cases, 31,307 recoveries, and 1,560 deaths.
Lucena City is under alert level 1, the most lenient in a five-tier alert status until May 31, while the rest of the province will remain under alert level 2.
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