VAX INCENTIVES. Dr. Ina Grace Chiu (left), Cagayan de Oro City's Covid-19 vaccination coordinator joins Dr. Teodoro Yu Jr., medical officer of the City Health Office (CHO) for the Covid-19 briefing Monday (July 18, 2022). Chiu said the CHO plans to give incentives to those who take the Covid-19 vaccine. (PNA photo by Nef Luczon)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The city government is planning to incentivize the coronavirus disease 2019  (Covid-19) vaccination to encourage the public to get protected and increase inoculation coverage at the same time.

In a Covid-19 briefing Monday, Dr. Ina Grace Chiu, the city’s Covid-19 vaccination coordinator, said Mayor Rolando Uy discussed the plan with the City Health Office (CHO) officials to provide rice, food packs, and other basic goods for those who take the booster shot.

“For children aged 5 to 11-years-old, maybe we can go to the vaccination sites and provide vitamins. We could also provide vitamins for the senior citizens, like vitamin B complex or something like that,” Chiu said in vernacular.

The city can also provide backpacks for children who would want to be vaccinated since the Department of Education is planning full in-person classes in November, she added.

90% coverage

In his Presidential directives, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. tasked the National Vaccination Operations Center to ensure the country can reach 90 percent coverage for the primary series among all A2-Senior Citizen category.

The same directives ordered to reach 50 percent coverage of first booster vaccination for the general population who are 12 years old and above, and also to increase the vaccination coverage for children aged five to 11 years old.

Currently, the city's vaccination rate stands at 80.9 percent.

Chiu said they are focusing on the 50 percent coverage target for the first booster vaccination for the general population as they are only given 100 days to achieve the target.

“The 50 percent (target for first booster vaccination coverage) for the general population, we will focus on this because we need to vaccinate a huge population as we only tallied over 25 percent (for the category),” she said.

As of July 15, the city has tallied 555,972 fully vaccinated individuals, which is equivalent to 91.90 percent vaccination coverage.

Of the figures, however, only 147,555 individuals received their booster shots, which is equivalent to 28.16 percent booster vaccination coverage.

For the pediatric vaccination, aged 5 to 11 years old, the city has recorded 26,245 fully vaccinated children which is equivalent to 28.57 percent coverage.

The CHO also tallied 10,226 children who have yet to receive their second dose of vaccines.

'Relaxed' population

Meanwhile, the CHO warned of a possible resurgence of Ciovid-19 cases due to the “relaxed” attitude of the population.

“You can see people no longer wearing face masks properly,” said Dr. Teodulfo Joselito Retuya Jr., CHO resident epidemiologist.

He noted that in malls, one can notice some guards disregarding improper use of face masks, as others are no longer looking for vaccination cards.

As of July 17, the CHO recorded 59 active cases, the highest figure for the month so far.

He said the city was once regarded as one of the “strictest” local governments to impose regulations on minimum health standards. (PNA)