Cebu City runs out of vaccine, suspends rollout yet again

Cebu City runs out of vaccine, suspends rollout yet again. (File photo)

ALL vaccination sites in Cebu City will remain closed until a new batch of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines is delivered to the city.

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, City Health Department officer-in-charge, said they don’t know when the vaccination sites will reopen.

On Friday, June 25, 2021, only the vaccination sites in Robinsons Galleria, New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (Noah) and in Barangay Taptap catered to individuals who wanted to be inoculated.

Even so, the supply of vaccine was limited.

Ibones, in an interview on Friday, said only 10 doses were available for the ceremonial vaccination of seafarers in Robinsons Galleria, while less than 200 doses were administered in Noah and only 500 doses were reserved for mountain barangay residents in Barangay Taptap.

The vaccination program in Cebu City has been hampered more than three times because of inadequate vaccine supply.

Not only does the problem keep the City from opening more vaccination sites to cater to more residents, it’s also a waste of time to open a vaccination site only to close it when supply runs out, Ibones said.

The City targets to inoculate 70 percent of its total population to achieve herd immunity.

Ibones earlier said they were waiting for the Department of Health (DOH) 7 to announce when it would deliver the next batch of vaccines.

As of Sunday, June 27, the City was able to administer a total of 97,002 doses.

Based on the data provided by Management Information and Computer Services officer-in-charge Richter Castañares, 71,325 individuals have received the first dose, while 25,677 have been fully vaccinated.

This does not include individuals who were inoculated under the Project Balik Buhay (PBB) and in hospitals.

A total of 268,792 individuals are registered for the City’s vaccination program.

Meanwhile, the Project Balik Buhay (PBB) Covid-19 Vaccination Initiative has asked the public for patience while they wait for their vaccination schedule.

In an advisory on Saturday, the PBB, a private-public partnership, said about 2,500 companies and organizations in Cebu have applied for its vaccination initiative covering about 200,000 employees and members as of June 24.

The PBB said the scheduling of companies and organizations follows a queue based on the date of completed applications while it continues to prioritize health care workers, senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities (A1,A2, and A3) for vaccination and a gradual and steady rollout for the priority group A4, or essential workers.

“Rest assured that all companies and organizations registered and approved will be accommodated in due time as vaccine supply becomes available,” it said.

The PBB has already vaccinated 39,681 health care workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities from the three highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu and Cebu Province as of June 25.

Of that number, 13,021 have been fully vaccinated.

Dr. Van Philip Baton, DOH 7 medical program coordinator for infectious diseases, said that as of June 25, a total of 129,555 health care workers, senior citizens and persons with comorbidities in the entire Central Visayas are already fully vaccinated, while 257,606 others are waiting for their second dose.

In Mandaue City, 70,000 more residents were added to its list of individuals who are willing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 since launching its full-blown house-to-house vaccination registration on June 2, after the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force gave it until July 1 to submit its vaccination masterlist.

August Lizer Malate, head of the Emergency Operations Center, said they were able to register 51 percent of the 70 percent of the city’s population, the desired number to achieve herd immunity.

Malate said they will register all willing residents, including minors.

He said they implemented the house-to-house registration method so they could reach indigent residents who do not have access to online registration or who are not aware of the City’s vaccination efforts.

Malate said they already conducted an initial counting of indigent residents, particularly those who are included in the government’s financial and livelihood assistance programs, such as the Social Amelioration Program, Unconditional Cash Transfer and Pantawid Pamilya, among others.

He said they are reaching to these residents since they belong to the next priority subgroup, the A5 category.

Some indigent residents have already received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Although they continue to encounter vaccine hesitancy among many residents, Malate said they will not force them to get vaccinated, adding that the City will push through with its information drive on the ground.

Mandaue City has registered 154,000 residents and it still has to register at least 140,000 more to achieve herd immunity.

Malate said the City will resume its vaccine rollout on Monday, June 28, after it received an allocation of 4,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine on Friday. (JJL, WBS, KFD)

SunStar Cebu

SunStar Cebu

The SunStar Cebu, often stylized as Sun•Star Cebu, is a community newspaper in Cebu City, the Philippines. It is the flagship newspaper of the SunStar network of newspapers and is the leading newspaper in both Metro Cebu and the province of Cebu. It is also the oldest of the SunStar newspapers, having been in continuous publication since 1982. Its office is in Kamagayan, Cebu City.

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